Subtle changes proposed to five-story hotel
Rockland — In advance of the city's Planning Board meeting May 20, a revised architectural site plan for the proposed five-story, $2.9 million hotel at 250 Main St. was received May 16 by the city.
The proposed project, at the corner of Pleasant and Main streets, remains a five-story, 26-room boutique hotel. The developer is Cabot Lyman, owner of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, although the site plan review is filed under the name ADZ Properties.
The newest revised application for site plan review was completed May 15 by Scattergood Design architects of Portland. The new plans outline "how the project has been designed and modified in concert with the city's zoning and design standards, as well as concerns raised by neighbors that have been brought to our attention as of this date," architect T. Scott Teas wrote in a May 15 memo.
The new plan shows that a terra cotta rainscreen is now "the dominant feature of the 250 Main Street facade," with a height of four stories on Main Street. "The Pleasant Street facade steps back to three stories, or 35 feet, 11 inches toward the center of the block in response to the adjacent single-family houses."
In addition, "The fifth floor is recessed one foot on Main and Pleasant streets, and treated in a different material to reduce the sense of scale," Teas continued. "The total height is 57 feet, eight feet lower than permitted."
The elevator override and solar collectors are 72 feet high, while zoning permits a maximum of 75 feet, Teas wrote. Their location near the center of the whole block will make them "less visible from the adjacent streets." In addition, "The overall footprint of the building has been reduced since the preliminary submission, so that occupied spaces are now three feet from the west property line."
Issues related to a proposed hotel parking lot, valet parking provided from the hotel to the lot, and concern over traffic flow were also addressed by Teas. A 30-space parking area will be provided on the adjacent block between Park and Pleasant streets, through a lease with the Maine Department of Transportation.
It is proposed that entry to the parking lot will come from Union Street through the Midcoast Health Center, with a second access route provided through 70 Park St., near Eastern Tire. An application for Planning Board review of the parking lot will be submitted once the hotel has been approved, according to Teas.
In a May 16 letter to The Courier-Gazette, Lyman said his plans call for the hotel to open in the summer of 2015, with "accommodations (that) would be in the upscale-mid market range."
While noting that parking is not required for projects in the downtown zone, Lyman said the current parking proposal is optimal.
"At maximum capacity, we are talking roughly 26 cars — a small impact on the traffic volume on a daily basis," he wrote. "And here's the thing — because we are in town — guests can walk to all that Rockland has to offer. There is no bar or restaurant in the lobby, so there will be no additional traffic or the deliveries associated with their businesses."
The May 20 Planning Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall and will include a public hearing concerning the proposed hotel.
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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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