Planning Board to take up Scarborough Downs rezoning

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SCARBOROUGH — Redevelopment ideas will get opinions, tweaks, and perhaps approval at the Planning Board meeting Monday, June 3.

The first order of business will be proposed rezoning of the 450 acres of land owned by Scarborough Downs between U.S. Route 1, Payne Road and Haigis Parkway.

The changes to allow the creation of the Crossroads Planned Development District will be subject to a public hearing before board members give an advisory opinion to the Town Council.

Councilors will then schedule a public hearing and second vote to enact the zoning changes to allow mixed-use development in the acreage surrounding the harness track. The new district would allow single- and multi-family dwellings, restaurants, hotels, buildings up to six stories high, and a variety of commercial development.

Town Planner Dan Bacon noted in a May 15 Town Council meeting the development can be done in stages and within the framework of a master plan. The proposed zone was created and endorsed by the Long Range Planning Committee.

The new zoning allows gambling in its current forms at Scarborough Downs, but prohibits casino and video gambling. Bacon said the bans can be lifted easily if state and local voters approve a change.

Andrew Ingalls, a broker and developer with Portland-based CBRE Boulos Co., and Ed MacColl, the lawyer representing track owner Sharon Terry, have pegged redevelopment and track fortunes on a racino, but allowing gambling is not a question Planning Board members will take up on Monday.

The zoning changes also affect land across Payne Road from Scarborough Downs, where a stretch of land from the Nonesuch River to Ginn Road would become a general business district with the same requirements as the Gateway Shoppes near Payne Road and Haigis Parkway, where Cabela’s is the anchor tenant.

At the edge of the Scarborough Downs property, essentially adjacent to the Sawyer Road residential area, a Village Residential District has been proposed.

Planning Board members will also review plans by Biddeford Savings Bank to build a branch office and adjacent coffee shop that could become home to the first Starbucks in town.

Assistant Town Planner Jay Chace said plans for about 5,300 square feet of buildings on 2.5 acres of land almost directly across from the intersection at U.S. Route 1 and Hannaford Drive are almost ready.

“There is not a great deal left, they are pretty close to local approvals,” Chace said Thursday.

The new development would be accessed by an expansion of the intersection that would also provide access to the Centervale Farms commercial complex, where a new 16,200-square-foot office building was approved March 11.

Chace said developers still need permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, but believes those are forthcoming.

If the project is approved, Portland-based architects SMRT hope work can begin in July, with interior work completed by next January and landscaping completed by next May, according to plans submitted to the board.

After gaining approval April 22 for a gas station and convenience store near the corner of Payne and Ginn roads, developer Scarborough Holdings is seeking a revision to the site plan to eliminate diesel fuel pumps in favor of a car wash.

The development is the first project approved after area zoning was revised last summer.

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

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.