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Scarborough council approves Cabela's plaza zoning changes

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Scarborough council approves Cabela's plaza zoning changes

SCARBOROUGH — Shoppers may soon enjoy the convenience of drive-through restaurants, see new signs and participate in special events at Gateway Plaza now that a fifth amendment to the contract zone has been approved.

The Town Council voted 5-1 Wednesday to approve the amendment to the town's contract zoning agreement with New England Expedition, the company that owns the Cabela's plaza. Councilor Karen D'Andrea voted against the amendment.

"I see this as a huge continuing departure from the contract zone's intent," said D'Andrea, adding that there were parts, such as the sign rules, that she did not oppose, but that including drive-through restaurants and events was not part of the original vision for the plaza.

The amendments will allow up to four drive-through restaurants in the plaza and special events for up to two days in the parking lot. It would also allow new signs on the current Cabela's pylon, holiday-themed banners on the lamp posts, and new business directory signs closer to highway ramps.

"These are very difficult economic times," said Barry Feldman, owner of the plaza. "As a responsible owner of real estate, we not only want to maintain, but enhance the lives of those who have entrusted themselves and their businesses to us."

Feldman said any events would be geared toward attracting new customers. For instance, next year's state moose lottery event is being planned for the Cabela's parking lot.

After several councilors expressed concern that out-of-state farmers markets could compete with the existing Scarborough Farmers Market, language that would have allowed the markets in the plaza parking lot was struck from the amendment by a vote of 4-2, with Councilors Ronald Ahlquist and Jessica Holbrook opposed.

In other business, the council unanimously approved the name Snowberry Ocean View Park for the new park at the end of Pine Point Road.

The park is named after an amusement park that existed on Pine Point at the turn of the 20th century.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net