Work begins on Yarmouth shopping center expansion

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YARMOUTH — A plan to add a 15,000-square-foot building to the Hannaford supermarket property on Route 1 appears to be moving forward, but Town Manager Nat Tupper said the developer has yet to apply for a building permit. 

A church on the land has been torn down and the parking lot is being torn up.

The project drew concern from neighbors when it was presented last August. Hannaford Bros. Co., which is working with South Portland-based engineering company Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, wanted to build six new commercial buildings.

Tupper said former Town Planner Vanessa Farr found the plan didn’t comply with the town’s Character-Based Development Code. The code seeks to control development along Route 1 and “transform what is now a high-speed highway lined with auto-oriented development into a slow-flow street that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and people of all ages and abilities.”

Two of the buildings proposed in the project were not facing a roadway, as required by the code. A new application for one larger building instead of six smaller ones was submitted to the town in January, and a building footprint was approved.

Tupper on Tuesday said he was not yet sure when the applicant would come back to request a building permit.

“We’re hoping they don’t delay,” he said.

For now, he said the developers appear to be preparing the property. According to Tupper, the former Church of the Nazarene was torn down the week after Easter. 

He said drainage and water lines are also being installed.

As long as the developers meet all of the requirements of the Character-Based Development Code, Tupper said they won’t need to present the project to the Planning Board. 

Tupper said it is still unclear what the purpose of the building will be and he doesn’t know who the tenants will be. In a drawing submitted to the town, the building, which is roughly equal in size to four of the buildings originally proposed, appears to have multiple entrances for retail businesses.

The applicant also wants to build a roadway from Route 1 to the back of the building, where there will be parking, in addition to the parking already available at the supermarket.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.