A long-vacant commercial property at the intersection of Middle and Patterson roads in Dresden, formerly home to Christmas Cove Designs Inc., will soon house climate-controlled storage units and one-bedroom apartments.
The Dresden Planning Board granted a conditional use permit to Jeff Biden, of Dresden, for the project during its Tuesday, July 12 meeting.
Biden had previously met with the board June 28 for a preliminary application review. His plan includes renovating two existing buildings on the property at 438 Middle Road to offer the storage units and a two-story apartment building with two one-bedroom apartments.
“(Self-storage) is an industry that’s booming right now, and there’s a need for it here,” Biden said. “There’s also a very low management requirement as well. Once all the units have been rented, it pretty much runs on autopilot.”
A small shed on the property will be demolished.
The deed to the property was transferred from Christmas Cove Designs Inc. President Jefferson Cotton to the Bidens on June 28, according to the Lincoln County Registry of Deeds. A site walk of the property took place Monday, July 11.
There was no public comment regarding the project during the public hearing July 12.
The planning board unanimously granted the conditional use permit to Biden with conditions. Biden must obey all state and municipal laws and ordinances and erosion control during the project must meet with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s best management practices.
In addition, Chairman Jeff Pierce said the town encourages everyone to recycle and take care of their trash in the best possible manner.
Biden said he hopes to have the building operational within three months if possible.
Jeff Biden is the husband of planning board member Linda Biden. The Bidens also own Eastern River Cattle Co. in Dresden.
The board also granted a conditional use permit to Great Works Landscape, of Bath, for the storage of construction materials on a property at 1379 Middle Road.
Jason Lovejoy, owner of Great Works Landscape, said the business is running out of space to store its equipment. The barn and garage on the property would be used to store equipment and maintenance vehicles.
The property would also be used to store materials including mulch, gravel, loam, and stone for the landscape construction business.
The planning board conducted a site walk of the property earlier in the evening, prior to the July 12 meeting.
Lovejoy said trucks would be loaded with the materials at the property around 8 a.m. and return around 4 p.m. He would not be selling materials from the property.
“If he wants to do residential or retail sales out of that, he would have to come back to the board,” Pierce said. “This is for the storage facility.”
Lovejoy said the business would be seasonal, and would operate approximately eight months a year.
“We don’t plow, so there won’t be salt and sand and trucks running out of there in the winter,” Lovejoy said. “I might have guys going in there to fix shovels, but the traffic will be nil to none for four months out of the year.”
The planning board unanimously approved Lovejoy’s application for a conditional use permit with the same conditions placed on Biden’s application. In addition, Lovejoy will have to maintain sight lines recommended by the Maine Department of Transportation for 45-mph roads.
A discussion of the Ludwig Road gravel pit on the meeting agenda was tabled until Tuesday, July 19, as neither property owner Dick Condon nor his attorney were able to attend the meeting.
During a meeting in April, the Dresden Board of Appeals remanded a decision to approve a permit for the gravel pit back to the planning board after finding the planning board failed to produce the necessary findings and conclusions with its decision to approve the pit.
Pierce said the July 19 meeting would consist of discussing the finding of facts and the 15 submission requirements for major developments that were addressed, modified, or waived in Condon’s application.