The new owner of the former Piper Village property is in search of a developer to transform the Damariscotta property into a retirement community.
During the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen’s Jan. 20 meeting, Town Manager Matt Lutkus informed the selectmen of a meeting with Paul Hollis, a land developer who is representing Coastal Realty Capital LLC, the owner of the 138-acre property.
The property has an extensive history with the town. The former Piper Village properties encompassed approximately 154 acres with frontage on Heater Road, Piper Mill Road, School Street, and Valley Lane.
The land was formerly owned by Damariscotta Development LLC and Great Salt Bay Development LLC and managed through a third entity, Piper Village Development LLC.
In 2008, the groups intended to create a village-style development with residential and commercial use on the property, according to The Lincoln County News archives.
The property is in a rural zone that does not allow the commercial development the group planned.
In 2011, Piper Village Development worked with the town to develop a “form-based code” called the Damariscotta SmartCode that would have allowed the development of the property. The proposed amendment to the town’s land use ordinance was rejected by voters in a June 14, 2011 referendum.
The following year, Piper Village Development proposed rezoning about 50 acres of the property from rural to commercial using the same guidelines as one of the town’s existing commercial zones. Again, voters rejected the proposal.
The 154 acres failed to sell during an online auction in July 2014.
After 16 acres was transferred to a former owner, the remaining 138 acres became the property of Coastal Realty Capital LLC in 2014.
Coastal Realty Capital LLC will divide the 138 acres into five parcels of land, including three 7-acre lots, a 5-acre lot, and a 112-acre lot. Coastal Realty Capital LLC currently plans to sell the four smaller lots along Heater Road, which are zoned for residential development, Hollis said.
The remaining 112 acres extending from the end of Piper Mill Road to Heater Road would be sold to a developer with the intention that the property would become a community for adults ages 55 and older, Hollis said.
The hoped-for development would be a mix of individual homes and multi-family dwellings in a cluster 1
layout, Hollis said. The plan currently allows for plenty of open space. Depending on the developer’s plan, a senior services building might be added as well.
“We really want the right person for this, someone who specializes in this type of development,” Hollis said.
Hollis said he hopes the plan is something the town will embrace.
“Given the history of the property, no one wants more controversy,” Hollis said. “We want to work with the town and the developer to create the community, because the need is there.”
The retirement community proposal would need to go before the Damariscotta Planning Board.
Lutkus said the potential development would expand the town’s tax base.
The project is in the early stages, however, Lutkus said he is “very optimistic” about the potential development.
“It’s very much in sync with our comprehensive plan,” Lutkus said. “There are a number of folks who want to stay in Damariscotta when they retire, but don’t want to live in a large home. This facility would meet their needs.”
For more information, contact Paul Hollis at email@example.com.