Cumberland council approves permit for Sturdivant Road pier

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on June 14 unanimously approved a permit for a pier at 21 Sturdivant Road.

The council’s vote echoed the recent unanimous recommendation of approval from the Coastal Waters Commission for Christopher and Nancy Pierce’s permit.

Town Manager Bill Shane noted there is a six- to nine-month review process by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Maine Department of Environmental Protection before the Town Council sees the application.

The pier will be to the south of Wildwood Beach in Cumberland Foreside. When the Coastal Waters Commission conducted a site walk of the property and held a public hearing on the matter last month, Chairman Lew Incze said, some residents from the Wildwood neighborhood were strongly opposed to construction.

But no one expressed opposition to the project Monday night.

Incze said the biggest concern he heard had been about the visual impact of a year-round elevated structure that crossed the beach. The pier will bisect a long shoreline view, he said, adding that it will be elevated 6 feet above the beach where it meets the land to accommodate storm surge and allow people to walk below at high tide.

The pier will reach out 117 feet, with a 48-foot gangway leading out to three floats. While the Pope residence, which neighbors the Pierce property, has had six floats in the water, it will remove all six, and two of them will sit at the Pierces’ pier. The Pierces will also install a float of their own.

“The total footprint of floats that are sitting on the intertidal zone at low tide will be cut in half,” Incze said. “And the Maine DEP in fact judged this to be of great benefit.”

Among conditions of approval for the project is that it will start no earlier than July 12 to accommodate nesting birds. A building permit must also be obtained from the town before construction begins.

Earlier in the meeting the Town Council elected Shirley Storey-King as its new chairwoman, and Mike Perfetti as vice chairman. Perfetti and Steve Moriarty were re-elected to the Town Council June 8.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.