Letter: Pine Point proposal needs study

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Four years ago the Lighthouse Motel owners and the town of Scarborough considered a land exchange which would have moved the motel parking area next to their building and shifted Pine Point Road southerly. This was part of a renovation plan for the motel to convert to five luxury condominiums. There was considerable support for the plan, but it was withdrawn by the owners. The land exchange did not happen.

Two years later the motel owners chose to convert the 22-room hotel to 22 condos, something known as a “condotel.” There were concerns about the ownership change to 22 individual dwelling owners. The large building sits on just a 1/3-acre parcel. But the town and motel owners reached legal agreements on several restrictions, including closing of the building for six months every year, and the conversion was allowed. Since that conversion, none of the 22 condotel units have sold.

The town manager and motel owners began discussions about another land exchange last winter. Unlike the 2005 proposal, this plan would give the entire paved road in front of the building to the motel. The town would get the narrow parking strip in return. There is no payment involved, yet tax assessments exceed $2 million per acre in this area. This plan would forever close the public road, leaving only the narrow parking strip for access to the shore.

We urge the Town Council to refer this to a careful study and involve the public.

Dianne McLellan, Don Cote