After receiving feedback from area residents at a public hearing Sept. 18, a Portland developer has revised his plan for one of the buildings at 435 Main St. in Damariscotta to more closely resemble traditional New England architecture.
The developer, Commercial Properties Inc. CEO Daniel Catlin, joined by Andrew Sturgeon, director of Maine operations for Hoyle, Tanner & Associates Inc., and engineer Shawn Tobey, presented his revised plan to the Damariscotta Planning Board on Monday, Oct. 16.
The basics of Catlin’s plan remain the same. The plan calls for the construction of three commercial buildings: a 22,000-square-foot building for two commercial stores, a 5,525-square-foot building with three commercial spaces, and a 2,700-square-foot bank with a drive-thru.
The major difference between Catlin’s previous presentations and his presentation Oct. 16 was the appearance of the 5,525-square-foot building. In previous plans, the building closely resembled a previous Catlin project in Topsham, which has a tan exterior and a flat roof.
At the public hearing in September, many in attendance expressed concern about the appearance of the buildings. Dr. Minda Gold, a resident and owner of Full Circle Direct Primary Care at 68 Chapman St., was among the audience members who asked Catlin to make the buildings “better fit into (Damariscotta’s) New England landscape.”
The building was redesigned based on the comments received during the public hearing, Catlin said, with a gray-and-white color scheme, clapboard siding, and a pitched roof above each storefront. One audience member thanked Catlin for taking the feedback from the public hearing into consideration.
Kimberly Sampson, of Damariscotta, one of the circulators of a petition calling for a temporary ban on commercial development, asked Catlin if he would change the exterior of the building based on the tenants who decide to move in.
Catlin said he would likely come back to the planning board for approval if he was to make any major changes to the plan.
Damariscotta Planning Board Chair Jonathan Eaton said he would have to come back if he makes changes. Eaton cited the town’s site plan review ordinance, which requires building facade colors to be “non-reflective, subtle, neutral, or earth tone.” In addition, the ordinance permits “standard corporate and trademark colors” only on signage.
After the presentation of the building’s redesign, the planning board reviewed the site plan review ordinance checklist with Catlin to determine which requirements the application needs to meet before the board can consider it complete.
In addition to receiving a building permit from the code enforcement officer, Catlin must demonstrate that the project would meet the parking requirements in the site plan review ordinance, which calls for parking lots to be behind or beside buildings in an effort to separate parking areas from frontage roads.
Sturgeon said he would request a waiver to allow for parking spaces in front of the 5,525-square-foot building that faces Main Street. He said Catlin would be willing to work with the board to determine how much of a buffer, or how much screening, would be required to allow for parking spaces in front of the one building.
Eaton said the site plan review ordinance allows the planning board to grant a waiver if both the building and parking area are screened from Main Street.
The planning board will continue its review of Catlin’s application at the town office at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13.