The Sail, Power & Steam Museum's plan to erect a new building on its South End waterfront site is being met by opposition from residents who live across the street.

Their opposition was voiced Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the Rockland Planning Board meeting.

The Planning Board ruled that the application by the museum at 75 Mechanic St. was complete.

A formal public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18. The Board will tour the property at 4 p.m. that day and the meeting for the public hearing and possible final approval will start at 5:15 p.m.

The museum proposes to construct a 4,000-square-foot building for display of boats. The $700,000 project would be completed in early 2021, according to the application.

The building would be located to the west of the ship that sits in the front of the property.

Letters in opposition to the new building were filed with the city by Dan Wilson of 52 Mechanic and Katherine Best at 68 Mechanic St. Phyllis Merriam of 72 Mechanic St. also spoke at the meeting Dec. 17, according to code office records.

Wilson stated that while the city's waterfront zone does not consider preservation of waterfront views, it should.

"My contention is that it should be a consideration to protect views of homeowners whose residences are already there and, in most cases, have been for more than 150 years," Wilson stated in his letter. He called for the city to amend zoning to consider preservation of views.

:"Additionally, the South End has been already been put on notice that taxes will likely be increasing as a result of (in my considered opinion) the ill-advised drive-by assessment review. I believe the increase in home values in the South End is at least partially due to the water view of those properties," Wilson stated.

He also said exhaust from diesel buses that idle in the parking lot of the museum can be overwhelming, particularly when the wind comes off the water.

Best also cited the loss of view in her letter to the Planning Board.

"One of Rockland's best attributes is the access to the waterfront that it gives to its residents. It is the ability to view the water that greatly enhances the quality of life in Rockland. This building will be a huge wall between the public and the water," Best stated in the letter.

She said she hoped that instead of being built on the slope, it could be sited at sea level to reduce its impact on views.