Hearing set on zoning change needed for Cape Elizabeth village green

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CAPE ELIZABETH — A public hearing will be held next week on a proposed zoning amendment for a village green.

The green and development of four mixed-use buildings is proposed at 326 Ocean House Road, south of Town Hall.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing Sept. 15 to modify the maximum front-yard setback for village greens in the Town Center District.

The amendment would create side and rear setback requirements of 15 feet, and 25 feet for front setbacks. The amendment wouldn’t have a maximum front yard setback of 35 feet, which is a requirement of “all other uses” in the Town Center District.

The development works in part with the Town Center Plan, created in 1993, and its recommendation for the town to have a village green.

In 2012, the Town Council assembled a new committee to update the plan and in an Oct. 2013 public forum, Peter Haffenreffer, the owner of the four-acre lot at 326 Ocean House Road, proposed the village green development.

Haffenreffer’s plan was discussed throughout the following year and then worked into the updated Town Center Plan, which was adopted by the council last October.

On May 11, the council referred the village green zoning amendment to the Planning Board, which has been discussing it throughout the summer.

After next Tuesday’s public hearing, the board will either forward the amendment to the council or decide to discuss it further. Once it goes to the council, it will be sent to the Ordinance Committee, which will review it and make adjustments. There will then be a council public hearing before the changes are approved or denied.

Although the development is contingent upon the zoning amendment, the construction of the buildings is not, since the lot has been commercially zoned since the 1980s. Although Haffenreffer initially presented the plan, he is now selling the land to developer Harry Angevine.

The development includes one two-story building and three three-story buildings. The two-story building, which would be closest to the street, would have a restaurant on the first floor and “multi-family dwelling units” on the second floor. The other three buildings would have offices on the bottom floor and residences on the upper floors. There would be a total of 17 residential units.

Without the village green, all the buildings would be pushed forward so they’d be closer to the road, with parking in the rear.

Either way, the developer would have to submit a site plan application and have the project approved.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

If a village green zoning amendment passes, a village green can be built at 326 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth. A developer has also proposed building four mixed-use buildings on the property.

If a village green zoning amendment doesn’t pass, plans for a development at 326 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth can still move forward, but the four buildings would be closer to the road, with parking in the rear.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.