The Damariscotta Planning Board, at its Jan. 9 meeting, approved the Central Lincoln County YMCA’s site plan application for its parking lot project.
The board approved the site plan 4-0-1 only 10 minutes into the meeting, after review of revised landscaping and photometric plans. Chairman Fred Sewall abstained.
Piper Village previously worked with Damariscotta to develop an amendment to the town’s land use ordinance known as the Damariscotta SmartCode. Damariscotta voters rejected the amendment in a June 14, 2011 referendum.
The company, which owns several properties in the rural zone east of Bus. Rt. 1, wants the town to consider expanding the boundaries of the commercial C-2 zone.
The present boundary runs parallel with Bus. Rt. 1 and extends 500 feet east of the road, bisecting several properties.
The line “makes development very impractical and difficult,” Piper Village Development spokesman John Mann said.
A Dec. 5 proposal from Piper cites public support for a boundary “that follows existing lot boundaries and more practical development parameters.”
Sewall said the decision about the boundary was made “without a lot of forethought” on the town’s part.
The Piper Village Development properties lie partially within an area the Damariscotta comprehensive plan designates as a growth area. Piper Village Development often points to this fact – a growth area in a zone that restricts growth – as contradictory.
Sewall said the decision about the growth area, like the decision about the C-2 zone boundary, was made without a great deal of deliberation.
“The state was pushing for [the town] to choose a growth area,” Sewall said. “We just kind of arbitrarily drew a circle around that piece of land.”
The boards didn’t take official action, but David Atwater, the chairman of the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen, expressed willingness to continue consideration of the request.
Lincoln County Rifle Club officials attended the meeting to express concern about the potential for residential development next to the Club’s range, which abuts Piper Village property.