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Developer alters Scarborough project opposed by Hannaford Bros.

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Developer alters Scarborough project opposed by Hannaford Bros.

SCARBOROUGH — In light of a continuing dispute with Hannaford Bros. Co., the developer of an office complex proposed off Foley Farm Road told Planning Board members Monday the first phase will not include access from Foley Farm Road.

Rocky Risbara asked Planning Board members to put the planned 20,000-square-foot, two-story office building on its Dec. 9 agenda for site plan approval as the first of two phases.

Risbara initially sought approval for both phases.

Envisioned ultimately as a 40,000-square-foot complex of two buildings connected by an atrium, Risbara on Monday said a squabble with abutter Hannaford Bros. Co. over access to Foley Farm Road led to the request for separate approval of the buildings. The entire project is expected to be completed in five years.

"I don't think there is any secret Hannaford has problems with our access to Foley Farm Road," Risbara said.

The two-acre project, expected to become headquarters for Town & Country Federal Credit Union (now on Hinckley Drive in South Portland), had called for access from U.S. Route 1 via Little Dolphin Drive and from Hannaford Drive via Foley Farm Road.

Foley Farm Road and Little Dolphin Road were to be linked by new access fronting the office complex, and the roads were expected to be turned over to the town.

But at an Oct. 28 Planning Board meeting, members received a letter from Hannaford Bros. attorney Scott Anderson challenging the One Foley Farm plans and threatening to sue if the Planning Board approved the site plan.

Anderson cited a 25-year-old purchase option Hannaford has from the Foley family as evidence Risbara does not have clear title to Foley Farm Road, which is adjacent to the Hannaford Bros. supermarket and extends into woods behind the Oakhill Plaza Shopping Center.

“It is Hannaford's intention to vigorously enforce its rights and to prevent or enjoin any violation of these rights," Anderson wrote. "Risbara does not have, and cannot acquire without Hannaford's consent, a sufficient interest in Foley Farm Road to implement its project."

On Oct. 30, attorney Lawrence Clough, representing Risbara, disputed Hannaford's claim in a letter to the Planning Board, saying the company only has a right of first refusal on the road.

Because Risbara is getting an easement for the road instead of buying it, Clough said there is no sale to contest.

On Monday, Risbara said dispute remains unsettled, although he anticipates the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will soon grant a storm-water permit that will enable the Planning Board to approve the first phase of work, with access to the office from Little Dolphin Drive.

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