Scarborough brewpub gets mixed reaction from planners

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SCARBOROUGH — The Planning Board Monday night unanimously approved a site plan for a new Martin’s Point Health Care facility at 153 U.S. Route 1. 

The board also discussed a site plan submitted by Nonesuch River Brewing for 201 Gorham Road, with members expressing concerns about parking, size and the project’s compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. 

Martin’s Point turned to Scarborough last year after a failed attempt to earn support from South Portland for relocation of its current facility at 51 Ocean St. to the corner of Sawyer and Ocean streets.

Martin’s Point is based in Portland and has officers throughout northern New England, employing about 800 people and serving more than 75,000 patients.

The new health care facility will include a bus stop at the southern end of the property, and will replace what was formerly Scarborough Commons, which was destroyed by fire in Sept. 2014

The facility approved by the Planning Board will include 15,000 square feet of office space and a 2,000-square-foot community room, Kylie Mason, senior landscape architect for Sebago Technics said Monday night. 

The site also includes a designated drive-through area, where cars can drop off patients before circling around to find parking. 

Presentation and approval of the Martin’s Point proposal took little time. Board members Roger Beeley and Susan Auglis said the facility will be a “great addition” to Route 1. 

Brewery

The owners of Nonesuch River Brewing – Tim Boardman, Michael Schuler and Jeff Gambardella – are proposing an approximate 5,000-square-foot brewpub near the intersection of Mussey and Gorham roads.

Their plan received praise and excitement for what will be the town’s first brewery, peppered with criticism about its potential size and location. 

The proposed brewery and restaurant is “two-tenths of a mile from an active church (and) 0.4 (miles) from an elementary school. I just feel this kind of establishment would not be good use of this area,” Shirley Curry, who lives at 91 Mussey Road, said at the Feb. 1 meeting. “I would not like to see Eight Corners go in this direction.”

Thaian Vu, whose property at 205 Gorham Road abuts the parcel on the north, asked the board members to remember that even though the proposal is in a mixed-use zone, it still abuts residences.

“I’m living in a residential home, and this is a business,” Vu said. “It’s going to definitely impact where I live.”

Vu requested that adequate buffers, like fencing, be required. 

Beeley wasn’t swayed. He agreed that abutters should be considered, but noted that projects like this are allowed in the area. The zone is “meant for mixed-development. That’s what it’s designed for,” he said. 

But board member Nicholas McGee said “respect for the abutters in this is huge every step of the way.” 

The proposed site is a little more than two acres in size. The building design is for tin-roofed barn with a cupola and red siding. A balcony to accommodate about 30 outdoor seats is included on the second floor, and the building will include an indoor mezzanine. In total, the business will have seating for about 140.

Boardman, who owns Boardman Builders, plans to build the approximately 5,000-square-foot structure, which will have about 70 parking spaces.

Auglis said the sentiment she wants to express is “wow, there’s going to be a brewery in Scarborough. This is the coolest thing, (and) we’ve been waiting so long to see this.”

“It’s going to be hugely popular,” she said, but “your parking is not going to handle it. I can guarantee you you’re going to have a parking problem.”

Speaking on behalf of the owners, Lee Allen, vice president of Northeast Civil Solutions, said they are trying to work out a deal with a nearby church about possibly using its parking lot in the evenings and offering a valet service for overflow.

The need for adequate buffering is also a “very huge issue,” the building is “out of proportion with what’s going on in the neighborhood,” Auglis said. 

Their intention, the three owners said last December, is not to build a facility that will disturb the area, but rather enhance it. 

“We are really intertwined with the community, (and) we really want to create a community-friendly atmosphere,” Boardman said.

“We’re modeling it after what we think Scarborough would like to have,” Gambardella said. 

A Planning Board decision isn’t expected until at least sometime in March.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

A sketch of what Nonesuch River Brewing will look like if final plans are approved by the Scarborough Planning Board. The brewery at 201 Gorham Road would be Scarborough’s first.

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.
  • go2goal

    Most states don’t allow or want drinking establishments (bars) within 200 yards of a church or a school for good reason! Using a church parking lot for a bar is plain stupid! Lots of young kids attend church gatherings and functions and to have drunks parking in the same parking lot is not wise.

  • truther

    How about prohibiting all houses of worship within 200 yards of a brewpub? Why should the religious buildings get the preferential treatment?