Although no property taxes outside the TIF are expected (?) to be used in Falmouth’s Route 1 improvements, it is not “free.” Business owners have already paid $2.3 million of the cost in taxes and will only have to pay $9.4 million more. What might the $9.4 million future contributions do for property taxes if the TIF were renegotiated?
Second, the beautification aspects of the project look good, but the $2.3 million in hand could plant a lot of trees and create other roadside upgrades without necking down the width of Route 1 with green median strips that may congest traffic.
Third, Falmouth has transitioned from a farming community into a bedroom community of Portland. Route 1 is not the geographical center of the town. Over 90 percent of Falmouth residents live farther than one mile from the Route 1 corridor. To think that people will drive over and park at one of the parking lots, and then walk along the 3/4-mile corridor doing their shopping, and then return to the parking lot with their purchases is wishful thinking at best.
Finally, zoning changes will “allow increased density, mixed use, and a residential component” allowing future businesses to be built close to the road with parking in the back. So we will transition from an open, treed, landscaped road that matches the rural character of the town with a crowded, canyon like effect with a “green” median. That’s improvement?