The Rockland Planning Board unanimously rejected Tuesday evening, May 7, a proposed restaurant that would have been located in the middle of what has for decades been used as one of two roads to the heavily-used Harbor Park.

The property's owner left the meeting after the vote saying, "See you in court."

The board said the restaurant would adversely affect traffic and also would place a burden on public facilities by blocking the route from Park Drive to Harbor Park.

The Waterfront Group had proposed tearing down the building that previously housed the Dry Dock restaurant and later Conte's restaurant. In its place, a 2,000-square-foot building was proposed to be built across the area used as a road.

The Waterfront Group owns the parcel, which includes the Pearl Restaurant, and the former Conte's Restaurant buildingĀ  but also extends across the road to a grassy area behind the 1 Park Dr. condominiums where the Rockland Police Department is located.

The property is up for sale, but Waterfront Group President Crystal Darling has said having approval for a new building would make the property more valuable.

City Manager Tom Luttrell told the Planning Board at the May 7 meeting that an appraisal being commissioned by the city is not yet complete. The city is getting an appraisal to determine the value of the Waterfront Group property in the event the city takes land by eminent domain.

Peter Lynch, attorney for Crystal Darling, one of the partners in the Waterfront Group, said there is no road there, so it would not affect traffic. He said that the city has no prescriptive easement on the land until a judge rules that it does. He said the city attorney's opinion that there is such an easement is not a legal ruling.

Lynch said after the meeting that he had yet to consult with his client about an appeal to court.

Board member Marcel Valliere said there was not enough of an effort to design the building so it could fit on the property without being in what has been used as a road. Code Officer John Root has previously urged the owners to reconfigure where the building would be located.

The Waterfront Group has owned the property since 1997. The entire parcel and buildings are assessed by the city at $803,100.

Harbor Park is used during the summer for festivals, including the Maine Lobster Festival, the North Atlantic Blues Festival, and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show.