North Yarmouth taps Portland architect for development study

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

NORTH YARMOUTH — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday hired Stephen Blatt Architects to conduct a facilities study on three development options the town faces.

The town will pay the Portland firm $18,000, which comes out of an economic development fund, according to Town Manager Rosemary Roy. Blatt will likely deliver his findings next month.

North Yarmouth residents may vote early next year on which of two town-owned parcels should be developed as a municipal campus: North Yarmouth Memorial School, which School Administrative District 51 closed in June and gave to the town, or the existing Town Hall.

Also to be determined is the future of the land where Wescustogo Hall stood before its destruction by fire in August 2013, and what level of development is most suitable for the center of town, a well-traveled area around the intersection of Route 9 and Route 115.

Planning Decisions – a Portland firm the town hired to consult on development of its key assets – presented a final report Nov. 18 on different scenarios and their potential impacts.

A municipal campus would be centered at the current Town Hall at 10 Village Square Road, under the consultants’ Scenario 1. Public Works facilities would be kept at the department’s existing site, and the fire station would be renovated where it stands.

Scenario 2 is split into two variations. In the 2A plan, the municipal campus would be located at the school building; while the existing facility would be used, part of it could be demolished. Scenario 2B would see the school demolished and replaced by a new building.

In all scenarios, the Public Works facility and fire station would stay as they are.

With the options in hand, Roy said last month, the Board of Selectmen have sought more concrete information from Blatt on the impacts, including the appearance of each option and more details on costs.

The regular board meeting on Jan. 6, 2015, will provide a further opportunity for residents to ask questions and comment on the proposals. A public presentation on the redevelopment options is to be held Jan. 7, and the board will digest that feedback in a workshop Jan. 14.

Selectmen on Jan. 20 may discuss a proposed special Town Meeting warrant and timing of that meeting, where voters would act on redeveloping the village center, along with how to fund those actions.

A Village Center Redevelopment Process Timeline has been posted at northyarmouth.org.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

0
A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.