Falmouth residents formally challenge sports pub plan

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

FALMOUTH — The Tidewater Homeowner’s Association has registered official opposition with the town to a two-story restaurant and bar proposed for Hat Trick Drive near the entrance to the development.

The opposition, which is public record, totals 12 pages and includes a letter to the Town Council, supporting documents, and a survey of Tidewater Village homeowners.

In the letter dated Dec. 19, 2014, association directors condemned a zoning amendment request from Doten Properties, which would change several development restrictions on Tidewater Village Lot 4 to allow construction of a Rivalries sports pub.

In the survey, sent to all 50 members of the association, the board found that virtually all those who responded disagree in some capacity with proposed zoning amendments sought by Rivalries. Likewise, nearly 84 percent of respondents were opposed to allowing the Tidewater Farm Master Plan to be amended to allow a restaurant to be built on the lot.

More than 85 percent of the homeowners who responded strongly disagreed with allowing the maximum building size on the lot to increase from 8,000 square feet to 11,400 square feet. And virtually everyone disagreed in some manner with allowing the parking radius for the lot to increase from 500 feet to 1,300 feet.

However, nearly half of those who responded were in favor of allowing the entrance of the restaurant and bar to be on Hat Trick Drive, as proposed.

Robert Isler, a member of the association board and the designer of the survey, said more than 70 percent of homeowners responded to the survey.

“The board needed to have a sense of how the community felt to decide what posture the board would need to take for the homeowners with the Town Council,” Isler said.

Isler also said they wanted to submit a letter to the Town Council alerting them the homeowners had concerns over the development. During a council meeting on Dec. 8, 2014, there was no opportunity for public input about the Rivalries proposal.

The property in question, which is part of the Tidewater Village Development Master Plan, is approximately 276 feet by 83 feet, or roughly half an acre, with about 275 feet of frontage on Farm Gate Road.

Zoning only permits the land to be used for commercial office space, with no more than a three-story building with a footprint of 8,000 square feet.

But the architect for the Rivalries project told the council on Dec. 8 that a building with an 11,400-square-foot footprint had been approved for the lot, but never built, which is why developers requested that footprint.

The prior approval, however, was also only for commercial office space.

The letter sent to the council by the association said members understand the area they live in was intended for mixed use, and they aren’t objecting to that. But it also said “restaurant use has a far different impact on the neighborhood in terms of later hours of operation, parking, traffic, noise.”

Rivalries owners and architects will be appearing before the Town Council again as the next step in the process. At the Dec. 8 council meeting, Town Manager Nathan Poore told the council the next time they saw this project it will have a formal zoning amendment attached to it.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

0
Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.