Tue, Sep 30, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Scarborough board OKs plan for Oak Hill assisted living center

News

Scarborough board OKs plan for Oak Hill assisted living center

SCARBOROUGH — With needed state and federal permits in hand, developers proposing an 81-bed assisted living center off Black Point Road gained final Planning Board approval Monday night.

The board did not seek public comment on the plans before its final site review.

The Rochester, N.Y.,-based Wegman Cos. has sought approval to build on an 8.5-acre parcel it bought in August 2011. The facility will will be constructed down the slope from Black Point Road, on the east side. The two-story building would be about 59,000 square feet.

Plans gained preliminary approval in January, and the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a 20-bed center for residents with dementia or Alzheimer's disease in March.

The project has been contested at almost every step by neighbors who formed the Friends of Oak Hill. Among the group are Joan Jagolinzer, Lisa Ronco, John Phelps and Stephanie Ruel, and each has attended Planning Board and Town Council meetings throughout the year to express their opposition to the project.

While supporting the concept of an assisted living center in town, the group said the site was not a good one because of traffic congestion in Oak Hill, potential problems caused by water runoff from the property and a loss of habitat for the New England cottontail rabbit.

Last month, Planning Board members invited more public comment because of revisions to Wegman's plans, but ended the discussion with a clear signal they were satisfied with questions about traffic, safety and water runoff.

In August, board members and Chairman Allen Paul said the addition of a dedicated left-turn lane to the facility and widening Black Point Road as it approaches Route 1 were welcome solutions to traffic problems in need of wide study by the town.

Traffic studies by Tom Gorrill of Gray-based Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers and independent traffic engineer Bill Bray show about 16,000 vehicles travel on Black Point Road daily. During tourist season, the number increases by an estimated 5,000 daily.

Bray and Gorrill estimated about six vehicles per hour would want to access the facility during peak traffic times.

Board members were also satisfied with plans to build a clay-lined retention pond to hold water runoff and a filtering system to stem the flow downhill and help direct it away nearby condominiums.

Wegman has state Department of Environmental Protection permits in order, one for site location of the development and a transfer from Black Point Development. It now has to file documents for easements on the property and a storm-water maintenance plan with the town.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.