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- The Forecaster
CAPE ELIZABETH — While no site plan has been formally submitted to the Planning Department for changes to Rudy’s of the Cape, there have been two Planning Board workshops in as many months to discuss potential changes to the property and building at 517 Ocean House Road.
Rudy’s restaurant and convenience store, previously owned by Mary Page, was sold July 7 for $349,000 to 517 Ocean House LLC. According to the secretary of state’s office, Paul J. Woods Jr. of Running Tide Road is the sole initial managing member of the business.
Pat Carroll of Carroll Associates in Portland is acting as Woods’ representative. At an Oct. 4 Planning Board workshop, he said one reason they did not submit a plan by the end of September is they are trying to work with neighbors on an agreement for shared parking and access.
“It doesn’t look at this time like that is going to work,” Carroll said. “Our approach right now is that they will be separate entities, but our hope for the future is that there may be some opportunity to (connect).”
In the meantime, Carroll said the plan is still to create up to an 80-seat restaurant with an enclosed, south-facing porch. The original building will be demolished, and a new, efficient building will go up in its place.
The new restaurant will be 1 1/2 stories, with a residential look, Carroll said. It will be about 2,100 square feet with a metal roof and metal siding. The activity will be on the south side, away from the neighboring residential zone, he said.
It will have a 100-foot setback from the residential zone, Carroll said.
There will be 31 parking spaces including six compact car spaces and two handicap accessible spaces, with a single entrance to the lot close to across from Broad Cove Road.
Carroll said Woods was contemplating carving out a second lot – 6,000 square feet closer to Davis Road – to be used for a future development. But that was reconsidered after a discussion on the difficulties of finding a feasible business that could use the lot without additional parking or emergency access and restricted uses.
Instead, the Planning Board and Carroll discussed adding an addition to the renovated Rudy’s building for office or retail use. The Planning Board preferred the additional multi-use space over splitting the parcel into two developable lots.
The board also indicated a strong desire for buffering between the restaurant and the neighbors.
Rudy’s closed for business on Saturday, Oct. 1 but after extensive renovations is expected to reopen by Oct. 17, Carroll said. The plan is to close the restaurant again in March when construction is expected to begin.
Assuming everything continues to move forward, Carroll said he will file a site plan by next month.
“The success Rudy’s has now is what we are building on,” Carroll said. “We don’t want to lose that. This (restaurant) has been a real benefit to the community. The idea is that it will be here another 50 years.”