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Falmouth council postpones decision on business size limits

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Falmouth council postpones decision on business size limits

FALMOUTH — The Town Council will not vote Monday night on a proposed Route 1 tenant footprint ordinance.

A vote was planned for the Oct. 22 meeting, but Chairwoman Faith Varney said Friday that the general consensus of the council was that more time is required to make the ordinance acceptable to all interested parties. Discussion of the ordinance was removed Friday from the agenda for the Monday night meeting, and a workshop on the issue was reportedly scheduled for mid-November.

Councilor Chris Orestis said he believed the opinions of businesses in town deserved more consideration.

“It's just to step back and take more time to discuss with the business community and get their input,” he said. “It's the right thing to do and everyone on the council agrees. We want to hear and consider and have the business community with us on the ordinance. We want to make sure we're thoroughly considering every aspect.”

The proposed ordinance would limit ground-floor tenant space to 50,000 square feet and 2 1/2 stories.

It met vocal and public resistance from some high-profile members of the Falmouth business community, including the Falmouth Cumberland Community Chamber, the Falmouth Economic Development Commission and real estate developer Ben Devine, the potential buyer of Falmouth Shopping Center.

Portland Regional Chamber Chief Executive Godfrey Wood, in an email Friday to chamber members, said the council has scheduled a Nov. 14 workshop to hear more input on the proposed ordinance.

Wood said the chamber "is considering offering the council a proposal which would meet the needs of our members and also be acceptable to the council."

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.