Health club postpones Topsham Planning Board review

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TOPSHAM — Issues raised by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection prompted Omega Wellness Group to pull its site plan, shoreland zoning and conditional use applications for Bowdoin Mill from Tuesday’s Planning Board agenda.

A public hearing had been scheduled on Omega’s proposal, which includes a 5,000-square-foot expansion of the Red Mill, additional parking, working within the General Development Shoreland Zone and operating a fitness facility.

New notices will be sent out to inform abutters when the hearing is rescheduled.

Town Planner Rich Roedner said Omega needs time to address DEP’s concerns regarding the group’s National Resources Protection Act application. These include explaining further how the Green Street square area will be developed and creation of secondary access; the impact on resources; submitting precise resource impact data for each structure included in the proposal, and the exact length of a stream that is proposed to be filled.

The unoccupied Red Mill was built in recent years at 11 Bowdoin Mill. The proposed addition to the 35,000-square-foot building would house a swimming pool, Roedner said last week.

Omega is also proposing to fill an approximately 11,000-square-foot area of wetlands associated with the “Granny Hole,” an area between Bowdoin Mill Island and the old fire station on Green Street.

DEP and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval is necessary for the filling, Roedner said.

The group also needs a shoreland zoning permit, since it would be operating within the shoreland zone adjacent to the Androscoggin River, which the town has designated for general commercial operations.

The facility would be offer rehabilitation and general exercise. Omega needs a conditional use permit to operate what the town ordinance would classify as a health club.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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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.