The new owner of a building at 816 Atlantic Avenue in Waldoboro, formerly an Irish pub and a barbecue restaurant, plans to convert it into a financial services office.
Allan Beck owns the building, formerly Annie O’Rourke’s and The Shack. Andrew Williams represented Beck during a meeting of the Waldoboro Planning Board on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Beck owns and is an adviser and broker at Cornerstone Financial Services LLC, a financial consulting firm based in Nobleboro.
The planning board unanimously voted to table a site plan review pertaining to a change of use for the building during the meeting, citing the need for more information.
Midcoast Economic Development District Planning and Development Director Bill Najpauer suggested that the property lines be identified and property pins located before the board makes a decision.
The Midcoast Economic Development District provides planning services to Waldoboro.
“We need more details to be defined before we make a decision,” planning board member Ted Wooster said.
Board Chair Scott Simpson agreed. “It makes sense we have an understanding of the full site before we approve this,” Simpson said.
The planning board, responding to an abutter’s concerns, directed the property owner to find the site’s boundaries and to figure out if snow is being plowed onto an abutter’s property.
Williams said the location has two outlets onto Route 1. The intent is to use one as an entrance and one as an exit.
Williams said the intent is for the building to house three offices for the financial services business. There is a primary entrance in the front of the building, a secondary entrance to the right, and an emergency exit in the back.
Williams said future plans for the site include the construction of storage units, but the owner would come before the board prior to embarking on that project.
Williams said Beck conferred with the Maine Department of Transportation regarding the site’s Route 1 frontage and worked to clear an overgrown area around a culvert.
Williams asked about the board’s stance on a sign at the property, indicating there was one at the location previously and Beck is interested in adding a new one.
Wooster said the town has a comprehensive sign ordinance that includes regulations for commercial signs.
Najpauer said the town’s code enforcement officer could offer further guidance on the installation of a sign at the business’s location.
Barbara Boardman, a member of the planning board, suggested doing some minor landscaping work in the narrow grass drainage area between the building and Route 1 to help make Waldoboro more aesthetically inviting to passing motorists.
“It would be nice to see what you have for a front green area in terms of improving the Route 1 experience in Waldoboro. Whatever you could do would certainly be appreciated,” Boardman said.
Williams said there is an apartment building behind the former restaurant. There are plans to remodel and rent the apartment units, but those are not in the immediate future.
Najpauer said modifications to the apartment building would not require planning board approval.
After Williams’ presentation and subsequent questions from the planning board, Max Johnstone, of the Midcoast Economic Development District, read a letter into the record from abutter Carl Erickson Jr.
Erickson expressed support for a new business at 816 Atlantic Highway, but listed concerns about property lines, runoff from the building’s parking lot, and plowing.
Wooster said the drainage issues may predate the new owner’s purchase of the property and could be a result of water coming from Route 1.
“Talk with the DOT to make sure the road’s water problems aren’t making this more difficult,” Wooster said.
Simpson agreed, saying surface water issues may not be Beck’s responsibility, as nothing has changed in the parking lot since the property was purchased
Najpauer said the time between planning board meetings could give Beck and Erickson time to work out the issues raised in the letter.
“This is an opportunity to locate property lines and for the neighbors to talk and try to figure things out,” Najpauer said.
According to Johnstone, the owner will be able to continue with internal renovations before the next meeting, but won’t be able to open for business until the change of use gets planning board approval.