The plan to construct a facility to house a retired circus elephant on Hatchet Mountain Road will go before the planning board Tuesday, June 7.

The meeting, which is for a site plan review, begins at 7 p.m. at the Hope Town Office. At the meeting, if the application is found complete, the planning board will then schedule a public hearing, which will most likely be held in July.

Veterinarian Jim Laurita has submitted an application to build a 3,120-square-foot metal building with cedar shingle siding at his home at 43 Hatchet Mountain Road, across from Hatchet Mountain Publick House.

The plan also calls for fencing, which will be three strands of steel cable at three, five and seven feet driven through metal posts at 10-foot intervals, encompassing one acre to contain the elephant, according to the application. Outside of that will be an eight-foot chain link fence to keep out wildlife and people.

From the outside the facility will look like a tennis court with green mesh on a chain link.

The cost of construction is estimated at $302,800 and would be built by Maine Coast Construction.

Laurita intends to bring the 42-year-old Asian elephant, named Rosie, from Carson and Barnes Circus, located in Hugo, Okla. Laurita has previously said that Rosie has developed a nerve paralysis and arthritis problems in one of her legs. In addition, she doesn’t mix well with the other elephants and has been isolated from the rest of the herd. Laurita and his brother Tom have formed a nonprofit with the goal to provide state-of-the-art physical therapy for the elephant.

In addition, Laurita plans to provide an educational experience to local school children to learn about the elephant and wildlife conservation. Children’s curriculum is being developed in coordination with educator John Burstein, otherwise known as Slim Goodbody, and research projects are being designed by staff at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Visitors will learn about elephants from interactive displays and observing the elephant at no closer than eight feet, according to the application.

His initial plans at this point are just for one elephant, but Laurita would have no more than two at the facility at one time, according to the application.

Laurita anticipates building the barn in July with the hope of moving the elephant to the facility in August or September.

This project is also subject to review and approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Prior to Laurita’s presentation, the planning board is expected to hold a public hearing about a 180-day wind power moratorium, which will face voters at the polls June 14.

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