The Rockland Planning Board will await votes by the City Council before it acts on a proposal to demolish a downtown building and replace it with a commercial parking lot.

The Planning Board toured 279 Main St. Nov. 17, then held a formal public hearing on the project.

But the board decided not to take a vote on whether to approve the application by 279 Main St. LLC and its owner, Crystal Darling. Instead, the board said it would consider the project at its Dec. 15 meeting.

That would be the day following the City Council's Dec. 14 meeting, where it will decide whether to both approve a moratorium on demolition of buildings in the downtown zone and whether to enact an ordinance that prohibits commercial parking lots in the downtown zone.

Both proposals are aimed at preventing the demolition of 279 Main St. which is at the busiest downtown intersection and the entrance to the downtown.

The Council gave unanimous preliminary approval Nov. 9 to a six-month moratorium on demolishing buildings in the downtown.

But the Council postponed for a month a related ordinance that would prohibit commercial parking lots in the downtown, saying it wanted to talk with Darling.

Darling has submitted a plan to the Planning Board to demolish bulk of the building at 279 Main St. — including where Park Street Grille has leased since 2004. The smaller southern section of the building where Frank's Family Hair Care and Breakwater Design & Build Inc. would remain standing.

In its place would be a fenced parking lot that would both serve the remaining tenants in the building and long-term leased spaces. The entrance to the lot would be on Main Street on the south side of the property at the property line with the Time Out Pub. The exit would be on Park Drive between where the existing building is and where the Lighthouse Museum building is located.

Then-Councilor Valli Geiger said at the Nov. 9 meeting that such a demolition and the creation of a parking lot would be "breaking the norm," and would go against the vision for the downtown.

Councilor Nate Davis said Nov. 9 it was unfair to change the rules for a business owner after they submitted plans. He agreed he would rather not having a parking lot there, but the unfairness of the timing of the change bothers him.