Neighbor expresses concern about proposed hotel parkingLyman-Morse Boatbuilding plans hotel for Main Street
Rockland — Amy Files of Pleasant Street said she is concerned about what a proposed parking area might do to her quality of life.
She said she and some area neighbors plan to attend the Feb. 3 City Council meeting in which a zoning change may be discussed.
Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, which had proposed a five-story building at 250 Main St. in 2010, may now change the project from a mix of condominiums and business rental space to a 28-room hotel, according to city officials.
To provide parking for the proposed hotel, the company has submitted plans to the Rockland Code Office to use a small parcel of land across from the train station off Pleasant Street.
A dilapidated multi-family dwelling on the property would be torn down to make room for 12 customer parking spaces, according to Code Enforcement Officer John Root.
In order to do that, the City Council must grant a zoning change. Part of the property is in a residential zone. The city is considering extending the neighboring commercial zone to accommodate the project.
In addition to the parking for customers, the company plans a small green space and parking for employees.
Files argues this is really spot zoning. She said the property in question provides a buffer between her property and the train station and Trackside Restaurant.
She also complained that no one from the city contacted neighbors to inform them of the proposed changes.
She said in an email: "there are challenges, living with train tracks in your back yard, and this project threatens the little bit of protection that we have as a residential property."
Lyman-Morse spokesperson Marnie Read was not able to provide any information about the project when contacted Feb. 3, but said she will get back to the newspaper with more details soon.
In 2010, Rockland's Planning Board approved construction of the building at 250 Main St. on the site of the former Hollydachs Pet Center. Since then, some work has been done on the foundation for the building and pillars were erected around the first floor area. Beyond that, work on the project has stalled.
In October 2013, owner Cabot Lyman said he still hopes to move forward with the project in spring of 2014, but it needed customers signed on for the then-proposed condominiums. Now the project may go forward as a hotel.
The City Council is holding an agenda-setting meeting Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall and will decide whether to place the zoning issue on the agenda for its next meeting Monday, Feb. 10.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.