Scarborough Planning Board passes on Wiley Park parking

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SCARBOROUGH — Efforts to expand parking at athletic fields off Tenney Lane were thrown for at least a temporary loss after Monday’s Planning Board meeting.

“It would be a smart thing for the people trying to put this together to have a neighborhood meeting,” Chairman Allen Paul said after the board heard about 30 minutes of public comment from neighbors worried about increased traffic and illegal activities after Wiley Recreation Park is supposed to be closed.

The park, at the end of Tenney Lane, is a multi-use complex of baseball, soccer and football fields. Board members had been asked for an advisory opinion on increasing parking spaces by Scarborough Community Services, which oversees the fields.

Lot expansion to 122 spaces, including three more handicapped spaces, would most directly benefit the Scarborough Football Club, which has 27 scheduled games for second- through sixth-graders this fall.

“Community services does not sponsor football leagues, it was (the) club coming forward,” Community Services Director Bruce Gullifer said.

Club President Greg Thompson and landscape architect Tom Farmer of Yarmouth-based Thomas J. Dewan & Associates detailed the plans Monday.

“Our intent is not to be invasive,” Thompson said. Much of the expansion work could be accomplished through volunteer efforts and material contributions by club members, he added.

Wiley Recreational Park is an ideal place to play out a seven- or eight-week season with three or four games played from morning through mid afternoon on Saturdays, Thompson said. The club raises money at the park concessions stand and there are handicapped-accessible bathrooms and a scoreboard.

It is also at the end of a narrow residential road off Pleasant Hill Road, and residents including Karen and Wayne Tanguay, Chris Casiero, Marilyn Jasper and Rick Mahoney said they are worried about increased traffic and illicit park visitors.

Karen Tanguay told the board a slate of Saturday games might draw more than 100 vehicles at a time, but suggested expanded parking on adjacent streets and use of a path through the woods to the park could alleviate congestion and overflow parking on her street.

The neighbors are also facing the construction of a nearby 30-lot subdivision that would double the number of residences in the area, and Mahoney said his love of sports could not override his concern about too much traffic on Tenney Lane. He said he might support expanded parking if there were a written promise it would not lead to more games being scheduled at the field.

Wayne Tanguay called expanded parking “not worth the time or cost” and estimated the project required cutting down about 2,100 square feet of woodlands, removing a natural sound barrier for neighbors. He added the work would create construction traffic and noise.

Jasper said a new parking area close to the back edge of the park would draw more people after dark when the park is closed, and added she already feels less safe walking through the park than in the past.

The neighbors added they support youth sports and said Thompson and club members have worked hard to limit traffic impact by blocking no-parking areas with cones and using Police Department Explorers to control traffic at games.

A day after the meeting, Gullifer was at Wiley Recreational Park, counting spaces and thinking about where a new gate restricting night traffic could be installed. Because there is one home just outside the parking area, the end of Tenney Lane cannot be blocked.

Gullifer said expanding the parking, which involves re-striping existing spaces and building more, does not require council approval. But he is heeding the Planning Board advice.

“We are going to meet (and) try to figure out the best scenario,” he said.

Board member Cory Fellows noted the process had practically started Monday.

“A neighborhood meeting was almost breaking out here,” he said.

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

Sidebar Elements

Plans to expand parking at these athletic fields off Tenney Lane in Scarborough concern neighbors, who worry about traffic flow on their street and illegal use of the park after dark.

An expansion project at the Lighthouse Inn on Pine Point in Scarborough received final Planning Board approval Monday night. Owners Peter and Nicholas Truman will add a third floor to the main structure and convert adjacent office space to a condominium. The Trumans hope work will begin in late fall.

Board approves Lighthouse Inn expansion plan

SCARBOROUGH — Planning Board member Cory Fellows said Monday he is very familiar with plans by Nicholas and Peter Truman to expand their condominiums on Pine Point.

“We’ve been through this with a fine-tooth comb several times,” he said before joining the unanimous vote approving a plan five years in the making.

The project both increases the size and reduces the number of units at the Lighthouse Inn, which is on King Street as it merges with Pine Point Road.

A third floor will be added to the main building and adjacent office space will be converted to living space. In the main building, the available 21 units will become seven, three-story units.

Although the units have been classified as condominiums since 2007, the Trumans now rent them because none of them have been sold. Peter Truman said the brothers are finalizing construction plans and hope to begin work in the fall.

Planning Board members offered few comments before voting on the plan, except to suggest two parking spaces closest to the condominium entrance be reserved for delivery trucks in business hours and condominium guests in the evenings. The spaces will be in the open because the condominium gate will be moved back 20 feet from the street.

— David Harry

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.