Scarborough council ties up loose zoning ends before summer session

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SCARBOROUGH — Town councilors had a light agenda Wednesday as they headed into their reduced meeting schedule for the summer. 

“Housekeeping” ordinance amendments, as they were called by Town Planner Dan Bacon, and final approval for long-discussed revisions to rules governing development on Haigis Parkway were the order of the night for the meeting, which last just over an hour. 

The Town Council will meet monthly on the third Wednesday of the month, instead of twice monthly, in July and August. 

Haigis Parkway

Councilors approved a zoning change for the portion of Haigis Parkway from Payne Road to Interstate 95, the swath of land that currently includes Cabela’s, Gateway Shoppes and Famous Dave’s Barbecue. The district will be changed to the standard B3 Business Zone, which allows a wider array of development. 

Permitted uses will include gas stations, large-scale retail stores and fast-food restaurants. 

Changes were also made to allow a range of development on all of Haigis Parkway, including education facilities, senior housing, research operations, medical facilities, places of worship, health clubs and more.

Another change permits small-scale energy production in the parkway area. The amendment is meant to allow companies to generate energy for their own use.

“I don’t think we should allow that,” Councilor Richard Sullivan said. “We went through wind generation and everyone was upset about windmills going up. We had another big discussion about solar power, and people were upset about the glare and the ugliness of solar panels.”

Sullivan was outnumbered though, and voted with his fellow councilors to approve the slate of changes despite his opposition to energy generation.

Industrial Zone changes

Councilors also unanimously approved changes to the town’s rules on development in its three industrial zones: Industrial Park, Pleasant Hill Road and Walter C. Neilsen Industrial Area.

The changes “are modest and intended to modernize the industrial zone,” the Long Range Planning Committee said in a memo to councilors. Newly permitted uses include high-tech facilities, auto repair, food processing facilities, education services, professional offices and “water-dependent sports practice facility.”

The town also adopted a 60-feet building height cap in industrial zones, with a process to go up to 100 feet pending Planning Board review.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext 106 or Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.