n-yarcouncil-010809 Compromise reached on Yarmouth zoning changes

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YARMOUTH — Town councilors on Monday night indicated they will send a proposal for conditional rezoning off Even Keel Road to the Planning Board for a second review.
Town Manager Nat Tupper said that after meeting with property owners, an agreement was reached that satisfied the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the neighbors.
“This new proposal is a compromise,” he told a Town Council workshop. “Everyone has made great progress.”
Tupper said the proposal is similar to contract zoning, but there is no contract between the town and the property owners. It is conditional zoning, with four lots designated to a Water Oriented Commercial III zone.
Marinas and related services such as boat building, sales and repair would be allowed under WOC permitted uses. Single-family homes would also be allowed, and there are also guidelines to protect the shoreline and natural areas, including flood plains, wildlife habitats, ecosystems and natural resources.
Tupper said one commercial lot will have special regulations to accommodate marine business. The two existing residential lots will have more latitude than they do currently and will have additional special performance standards. The fourth lot is mostly undeveloped, but will have additional habitat protections.
Because the proposal has been so altered from the original proposal, he said, it would be wise to let the Planning Board see the changes and then send it back to the council for approval.
SUBHED-Bridge Street zoning
The council will hold a public hearing on the Village III rezoning proposal on Bridge Street at its next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 15.
Peter Mahar of Cumberland said he recently purchased 110 Bridge St., and spoke in favor of the zone change.
“Overall, this is very appropriate rezoning for this property,” Mahar said. “The current commercial zoning is not appropriate.”
He also said traffic and safety issues are a concern in the commercial zone.
But Ed Ferrell of Downeast Village opposed the Village III proposal and said the zone is “a little too restrictive.”
The new zone is designed to protect the residential neighborhood while allowing for limited, low-intensity businesses. It would also encourage mixed-use commercial and residential structures.
The zone includes all property that abuts Bridge Street from Main Street to Willow Street and along the Royal River. It does not include the Spar Hawk Mill, which is in the Resource Protection zone. It does include town-owned land along the river.
Councilors will also consider amendments to the Right-of-Way Ordinance regarding the authority to post toads to limit load weights, and fee amendments to the Harbor, Waterfront and Boat ordinance.
Councilors will also meet on Monday, Jan. 12, for an Operations meeting.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110, or aanderson@theforecaster.net