The Damariscotta Planning Board will consider an application for the development of a discount store and a home-improvement store at the corner of Main Street and Biscay Road during its next meeting, Monday, Feb. 6.
Damariscotta DG LLC has submitted a site plan application to the planning board to develop 508 Main St. The application calls for a 7,500-square-foot Dollar General store and a 4,500-square-foot Sherwin-Williams store.
Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., has more than 12,000 locations in the U.S., including stores in Augusta, Lisbon, and Litchfield.
Sherwin-Williams, headquartered in Cleveland, has more than 4,300 locations worldwide, including stores in Brunswick, Rockland, and Topsham.
Carl Poole owns the 1.8-acre parcel at the intersection of Main Street and Biscay Road, according to town tax records. The parcel is in the town’s C2 commercial district.
According to a letter from Bohler Engineering, of Southborough, Mass., the parcel would be subdivided and the Dollar General and Sherwin-Williams stores located on two separate lots. Bohler Engineering is representing the applicant, Town Planner Tony Dater said.
The site would be accessible through two driveways, one on Main Street and the other on Biscay Road, according to Bohler Engineer’s application. The hours of operation are anticipated to be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, according to the application. Parking is proposed to accommodate 41 vehicles.
The location and number of the parking spaces could be a topic of conversation during the meeting, Dater said. The town’s site plan review ordinance calls for parking lots to be behind or to the side of buildings in an effort to separate parking areas from the frontage road.
Bohler Engineering is requesting a waiver from the planning board to place the parking lots at the front of the buildings, facing Main Street, as the area would be the most convenient for customer access to the buildings. In addition, locating customer parking near the front of the building would create separation between the customer lot and the operational, loading, and storage areas, which are generally in the back of the buildings.
Landscaping and screening is proposed between the parking lot and Main Street, according to the application.
A waiver is also being requested for the number of parking spaces for the development. The application proposes 25 parking spaces for Dollar General’s use and 16 spaces for Sherwin-Williams’ use.
According to Damariscotta’s site plan ordinance, a retail commercial use requires four parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of floor area in the retail building. Under the site plan review ordinance, 30 parking spaces would be required for Dollar General’s use.
Bohler Engineering is asking for a waiver to reduce the number of parking spaces to 25, as the development is “anticipated to be a low traffic generator” and is not expected to require more than 25 parking spaces, according to a letter to the planning board.
The letter cites parking demand data from other Dollar General locations. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., of South Portland, analyzed the parking lot use at stores in Jaffrey, N.H., and Hillsboro, Ohio, during the “critical Saturday midday peak period” and found the average parking demand to be six spaces at the Jaffrey store and 16 spaces at the Hillsboro store. The maximum use observed was 10 spaces at the Jaffrey store and 23 spaces at the Hillsboro store.
Both the Jaffrey and Hillsboro stores are 9,100 square feet, 1,600 square feet larger than the store proposed for Damariscotta.
The Great Salt Bay Sanitary District provides water and sewer to the parcel, and the developer proposes to heat the buildings with an above-ground propane tank, according to the application.
It was not clear whether Damariscotta DG LLC plans to purchase the property. Poole said he still owns the property, but declined comment about the future of ownership.
In the past, the property has been home to the County Fair Motel, Kat’s Kart, and other mobile eateries. Wasses Hot Dogs has operated on the property since June 2015.
Joe Talbot, Keith Wass’ business partner at the Damariscotta location, said he did not know what the future holds for the Damariscotta Wasses.
“We don’t really know what’s going to happen right now. There’s a lot in the air,” Talbot said.
Although the Damariscotta Planning Board will discuss the application Monday, a spokeswoman for Dollar General said the corporation is in a “due diligence phase” for a new store at Main Street and Biscay Road in Damariscotta.
“We’re interested in adding a new location to Lincoln County, but have not committed to doing so yet,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “Based on our initial timeline, I anticipate a final decision on this project will not be made until late summer 2017.”
The Sherwin-Williams corporate office did not respond to a request for comment.
A public hearing on Damariscotta DG’s application will be held prior to the planning board’s discussion. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Damariscotta town office.