Study finds no negative traffic impacts from Lyman's proposed hotel

Planning Board to review findings June 10
By Larry Di Giovanni | Jun 05, 2014
Courtesy of: Scattergood Design The traffic study for Cabot Lyman's proposed hotel at the corner of Pleasant and Main streets (above view pictured from Main Street) suggests that "ideally, two parking spaces in the vicinity of the hotel should be designated as 'short-term' to provide for possible guests arrivals and other businesses."

Rockland — A traffic study prepared May 30 by Maine Traffic Resources of Gardiner finds that Cabot Lyman's proposed 26 suite, $2.9 million hotel at 250 Main St. is not expected to generate any adverse traffic impacts.

The traffic study, contained in Scattergood Design's newest architectural renderings completed June 4, will be reviewed Tuesday, June 10 by Rockland Planning Board for possible action. The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. at Rockland City Hall.

During the highly contentious May 20 Planning Board meeting, with most members of the public speaking against the hotel's overall height, traffic impacts, and some design issues, board Chairman Erik Laustsen called the hotel's traffic plan its "weakest" component.

The plan involves a proposed valet pick-up and drop-off area for the hotel main entrance on Main Street, with valets then taking guests' vehicles to a 30-space parking lot leased from the Maine Department of Transportation. Entry to the parking lot would come from Union Street through the Mid-Coast Mental Health Center, with a second access route provided at 70 Park St. near Eastern Tire.

Maine Traffic Resources' study has determined that the hotel will generate 25 one-way trips during peak a.m. hours, and 25 one-way trips during peak p.m. hours.

"Generally, a project will have no significant impact on traffic operations unless it generates in excess of 25 trips per lane per hour," the study finds.

"This is expected to be a conservative estimate and actual trip generation will likely be much less," the study states in its summary. "This level of traffic, with a maximum of 16 lane hour trips, is not expected to have any significant impact on off-site traffic operations." Much of the traffic flow will involve valets taking guests' vehicles to and from the hotel.

During the May 20 Planning Board meeting, some making public comments expressed concerns that as many as eight to 10 cars could line up at the hotel, waiting for valets and hindering traffic flow.

Addressing the prospect of current public parking spaces being designated for hotel valet use, the summary states, "Ideally, two parking spaces in the vicinity of the hotel should be designated as 'short-term' to provide for possible guests arrivals and other businesses."

The study also finds:

  • In terms of safety, there are no high-crash locations within the hotel study area;
  • Adequate sidewalks are provided on both Main Pleasant streets;
  • That a recommendation to move the Main Street crosswalk just north of Pleasant Street should involve relocation to the Pleasant Street intersection to allow better visibility;
  • There are 15 public parking spaces within a one-block area including the Public Landing to help accommodate parking needs;
  • That overall annual traffic volumes in the Park (Route 1) and Main street vicinities have been on the decline during a nine-year period studied from 2002 to 2011.

Scattergood Design has also made changes addressing overall hotel size, height, and design. "A roof deck is not currently planned," architects T. Scott Teas and Pamela Hawes wrote, adding there will be no public access to the roof. "Therefore, the egress stairs and elevator will stop at the fifth floor. Windows have been added on all elevations." And, "wall cladding has been changed to terra cotta on all sides."

The height of the habitable fifth floor is 56 feet, 6 inches, and elevator machinery is expected to rise more no more than 6 feet above the roof. Solar collectors, at 72 feet high, will be the highest point of the hotel.

Lyman, who owns Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding of Thomaston, has filed hotel plans under the name ADZ Properties.

Courier Publications reporter Larry Di Giovanni can be reached at 594-4401 x. 117, or by email at: ldigiovanni@thevillagesoup.com.

Comments (18)
Posted by: James Clinton Leach | Jun 10, 2014 19:21

I own two buildings on Pleasant Street not far from the LM project, I am in favor of this project and am hopeful it moves forward .



Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jun 08, 2014 16:14

Definition: Blockbusting is a method of manipulating home owners to sell or rent their homes at a lower price by falsely convincing them that racial, religious or other minorities are moving into their once segregated neighborhood. It is illegal to engage in blockbusting.



Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Jun 08, 2014 14:30

Hi there M T

 

Thanks!

 

"Block Busting" as a legal term. Hmmmm . . .  We better become familiar with it.

Again, thanks!

 



Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Jun 08, 2014 13:11

Hi there M T

 

Pls you can call me David.

 

RE "Soundly-reasoned arguments, rather than conjecture," I do not like crying wolf unless the wolf is already in the coop munching on chickens . . .

 

During LM project presentation in front of the PB, there were several interesting exchanges between members of the PB and LM. One of them went along this lines "What would you do if 'these people' go to City Council and reduce the height from 65 to 50 feet for the rest of the block? You would be the only building at 65 feet. All other building would be just 50 feet. This has to peek your interest. What other buildings were they talking about?

 

Or another "pearl" along the lines of "I played by your rules and this is what we get?" to what he got the following response "Do not worry, you are safe. Changes do not apply to you . . . "

 

It is very hard to believe in the process when developers have full support from a PB that is very selective in the application of code and cannot, or would not, respect our Comprehensive Plan.

 

 

 



Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Jun 07, 2014 23:55

Historical Votes in City hall?

 

Remember when, a short time ago, our Councilors voted not to waive the fees for the Lobster Fest? Some people called it a "Historical Vote". If you really want an HISTORIC VOTE just wait for June 10. The building at [Un]-Pleasant and Main is not the only one planned for this block. The first building will overshadow the three small houses behind it. City Hall will not hesitate, at the request of a "neighbor" to bring back the Smell Police and run Rock City out of biz. Rumors are being heard about the next property being for sale. Who’s left? Bricks. Good luck fighting the developers, especially when City Hall is favoring "development."

 

Ever heard about the domino theory?

 

Remember Lyman-Morse’s original statement that the building was planned to assist idle workers? Four years have passed and LM is fighting tooth and nail to have the [First?] building become a reality. I just wonder how much information is not being shared with us, average Rocklanders . . .



Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jun 07, 2014 13:49

Mr. Gartley your company [Gartley & Dorsky] has helped me with two jobs since I moved to Maine, the first a structural engineer from your company helped with a problem with the roof on our garage, second your company did a survey and obtained all the permits I needed to sell a lot next to my house; your our company did an excellent job. In your post you seem to have a problem with “Not Money” or “Popularity”, as some people have suggested, will figure in the City’s decisions on what to do about this hotel. I believe that you are being naïve. I don’t think anyone has suggested that Mr. Lyman will bribe the Planning Board or Council so they will approve his hotel but Mr. Lyman has said that he has already spent $500,000 of his on this project so that may figure into their ultimate decision. You talk about a set of standards adopted by the City but sometimes, even though there are standards, a City should listen to the neighbors who live close to this hotel and decide this is not the best place for this hotel. The hotel that Mr. Smith wants to build overlooking Rockland Harbor is the hotel that should be built. The south end does not need two hotels especially the one at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets. People can stay at the Navigator or the Trade Winds and walk to stores, etc. in Rockland



Posted by: Ronald Huber | Jun 07, 2014 10:15

Alas  A classic "you get what you pay for" moment. Environmental consultants who supply results-to-order are known in the business as "biostitutes".  What are traffic consultants-for-hire called? "Street walkers?"  Perhaps every police chalk outline of the victims of the ongoing traffic whoopsies there can be made permanent. Each with a little "Courtesy, Cabot Lyman" autograph?   Ed  I can't imagine you or the coast guard would approve a marina with a vessel traffic pattern like the one proposed for this dry land development. It would be a menace to navigation. An eyesore too.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jun 06, 2014 17:02

I am more concerned about the speed of traffic on So Main Street than the amount of traffic. Perhaps I'm used to the amount but it amazes me how fast they go and how close they follow one another. Everyday I see drivers texting. It's fearful walking on the sidewalk, that is when you can without some car or truck parking on it.



Posted by: James York | Jun 06, 2014 16:33

Well said Mr. Gartley; under the various pressures I hope that the city council can exercise the same integrity as the planning board has done thus far.



Posted by: William Gartley | Jun 06, 2014 13:24

I first want to make clear that myself or my firm has no connection to this project. My only comment is that the statements regarding the planning board are completely unfair. They have a set of standards adopted by the City that they use to consider any and all project and those standards only. It is not money or popularity that they consider. If you don't like the standards than pay attention and participate, don't bash the volunteers that are charged with enforcing the City's ordinances. Will Gartley



Posted by: Ed Glaser | Jun 06, 2014 07:50

This is a good project in exactly the right place. Rockland isn't a quaint rural New England town, and it never has been. We are a small regional city and we can use a high quality hotel in town. It will be within walking distance of the railroad, the harbor, the art galleries, the museums, the restaurants. As in any city, business, industry and residences all exist side by side, and oddly they all thrive and do better that way.



Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Jun 05, 2014 23:30

Hi there SPR

 

Yep! So you have noticed that, one more time, the renderings presented by LM are fake. Pls go ahead and request from City Hall the full new application and you will get a better understanding of what "Photoshopping" can do.

 

Also as, expected, LM sponsored traffic study reports "All is fine in paradise." Did you expect otherwise?

 

BOTTOM LIKE: This is not a beauty contest. It does not matter if we like the project or not. The issue is the Planning board engaging in favoritism with LM project.



Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jun 05, 2014 22:32

The picture of the hotel in this article the streets in front and on the side of the hotel look so pristine and beautiful but in reality it is not a pretty picture when cars are on the two streets.  I live down the street near the Southend Grocery not far from where the hotel is planned and believe me there is too much traffic now on Main Street and when the tourists arrive the traffic is murder, then you add the Lobster Festival and the Boat Show it is almost impossible to get through Rockland, go to the Post Office, etc..  Now before I get dinged for being too negative I realize that Rockland needs the tourists to generate money for the city and I think the tourists are interesting and it is nice to have them visit but I DO NOT believe this is the right hotel for Rockland.  The location is horrible.  The City should shelve this hotel and allow Mr. Smith's hotel to be built overlooking the boardwalk.  Unfortunately money talks and I am sure the Planning Board is going to allow this God awful hotel.  What is sad I think the majority of Rockland residents DO NOT want this hotel and the Planning Board is going to disregard their wishes.  It will be like a slap in the face to those people.  By the way I have nothing against the Lobster Festival or the Boat Show; I am only against the hotel being built on that corner.



Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Jun 05, 2014 21:46

An 800 pound gorilla with a "haircut"; an 800 pound gorilla remains . . . .



Posted by: Kim Rand | Jun 05, 2014 19:59

The City of Rockland has undergone a major facelift over the last couple of decades in an effort to attract tourists and revitalize the community.  However, during this process it has been a challenge to strike a balance between encouraging new business and maintaining that "small town feel". Now that the city has been successful in making Rockland a tourist hub, it would be advantageous to provide lodging so that visitors can enjoy the local restaurants and activities without needing to leave the city.  This new hotel will provide tourists with an alternative to the Trade Winds and bring additional revenue to our local businesses.  Some found the EAT artwork at the top of the Farnsworth unappealing, but now it is a site to see when visiting Rockland.  I think that the new hotel will be a big improvement over the building that occupied that space before.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jun 05, 2014 17:44

What about Rock City Smoke Stack?????  How will that fit in with the tall overbearing structure.

 

Joan,

Mr. Smith has a plan to built a very nice hotel (with plenty of parking) on the water at the South End.  Don't see a need for two at the South End do you??

 



Posted by: ALBERT E COLSON | Jun 05, 2014 17:30

Looks wonderful and so glad it will work . A big improvement to the city . Now famlies will have a place for visitors to stay.    Joan



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jun 05, 2014 16:46

Looks hidous.  Hard to say that there is not going to be any impact on traffic.   25 times a day is still a lot of trips when talking about parking and pulling out into traffic that many times.  IT DOES NOT FIT THERE, PERIOD!  WHEN WILL THE CITY GOVERNMENT STOP THINKING WITH THEIR POCKETS AND START LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THEIR DAMN SALARIES???!!!!!!

 



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Larry Di Giovanni
207 594-4401 ext. 117
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Larry Di Giovanni, a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, is returning to his daily reporting roots in order to cover the city of Rockland for The Courier-Gazette. Originally from Athens, Ohio, his family includes one son, Tony.

Di Giovanni has covered news beats ranging from the city of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to the largest tribal government in the United States — the Navajo Nation. He has also worked as a writer in the public education and higher education fields. He's an animal enthusiast and loves dogs.

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