Yarmouth’s 317 Main plans $3.4M expansion

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YARMOUTH — 317 Main Community Music Center hopes to more than double the size of its building with a $3.4 million expansion.

The Planning Board on March 28 unanimously granted preliminary site plan approval for the project and recommended the Town Council approve a contract zone agreement to construct the barn-like addition, which would not be allowed under existing zoning.

The center’s barn, which served as a storage unit behind the main building, was dismantled a year ago; 317 Main is proposing an addition and expansion of the barn’s footprint. But under the present Village 1 Zone, the barn can only be replaced by a new storage building.

The plan is to add a 2 1/2-story, 3,500-square-foot addition to the back of the existing 2,400-square-foot center for performance space, classrooms, studios, and an indoor market.

“We are using every inch of our building currently,” Kyo Bannai, 317 Main community relations director, said March 28.

Bannai said the project is designed – like a proposed condominium complex to be constructed on Main Street – to comply with the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee’s proposed CD4 Village Center Character District.

However, with delays in action on the Character-Based Development Code, 317 Main opted to move forward with a contract zone agreement that will allow them to begin fundraising sooner.

Preliminary cost estimates put the project at $3.4 million.

Current zoning requires additions to be no more than 50 percent of an existing structure, with a two-year time frame for reconstruction. Because the barn was demolished a year ago, 317 Main is asking the town to waive the time limit. The organization hopes to break ground within three years from approval of the contract zone.

“With a capital campaign in the future, we don’t want to rush this,” Bannai said. “We only get this one chance, so we want to do it right. Two years too short of a time.”

The contract zone request states that the proposed development is consistent with several aspects of the town’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan, such as maintaining Main Street as a “mixed-area use” and ensuring new construction or modification of buildings along Main Street is compatible with the “visual character and development pattern of the Village.”

Built in 1855, 317 Main is listed on the National Register’s list of historic places, which limits site renovations and land use.

“This is a historic building and because of the lack of guidelines from the town we have taken it upon ourselves to work closely with the Maine Historic Preservation Society, the Yarmouth Historical Commission and the Maine Development Foundation to help us through all the improvements we’ve been doing and what we hope to do,” Bannai said.

Prior to granting final site plan review, the Planning Board on Wednesday asked 317 Main to provide a parking management plan that utilizes shared parking on the Main Street corridor, sewer system impacts, a plan for necessary signage, and evidence from the water district showing it has the capacity to serve the new facility.

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth is seeking site plan review and a contract zone agreement to double its footprint and add more office, classroom, and performance space.