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Red Shed demolition and rebuild discussed by Planning Board

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 09, 2019
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The Planning Board will review the site plan for rebuilding the last red shed at the head of Camden HarborOct. 17.

CAMDEN — A public hearing and site plan review for the reconstruction of the red shed at the head of Camden Harbor, owned by Lyman Morse, is set for Oct. 17.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the John French Jr. Conference Room on Washington Street. On Oct. 15, a site walk with Planning Board members and the owners will take place at 8 a.m.. During the walk, there will be no opportunity for the public to have questions answered by either board members or owners.

The site plan, which has been delivered to the town's Code Office, will be reviewed for completeness by the Planning Board Oct.17. If board members find that the plan is complete, the public hearing will be conducted, with opportunity for comments and questions. If board members determine the plan is incomplete, the Planning Board can request additional information and reschedule the public hearing, according to Jeanne Hollingsworth of the Planning, Development and Code Office.

The project involves demolishing the existing building, and rebuilding a new structure. The plan has been discussed twice, at a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing in June and at the Planning Board Sept. 19. The initial Planning Board meeting was a pre-review, where members ask questions, and no decisions are allowed to be made. The Zoning Board meeting resulted in a unanimous vote that the project meets zoning requirements for changes to non-conforming buildings in the Shoreland Zone.

The new building will resemble what is there now, according to Will Gartley, of Gartley and Dorsky Engineering and Surveying, who represented the project owners Sept. 19. The exterior will be red, he said, though he did not know what material the exterior siding will be. Where the building is now a single-story boat shed, the rebuilt structure will contain a second floor for residential use. The building will have new windows and decks. The roofline of the current building slopes down to the water, whereas the roofline of the new building will be level.

The number of pilings beneath the building will be reduced, witha new foundation supporting one side of the building, and acting as a retaining wall. Currently, there is a foundation and a retaining wall beside the foundation, which water and other objects fall down into, Gartley explained.

At the Zoning Board meeting, the height of the building's roof was the issue most discussed by members of the public who attended. Planning Board members also questioned Gartley on how the height of the existing building was measured, as well as the height of the new building.

The highest point of the roofline is just about 29 feet. According to the ordinance for reconstructing a nonconforming building, that height can be maintained along the entire roofline of the new building, Gartley explained. The ordinance sets a formula for measuring building height, which involves taking measurements around the building every 10 feet. Regardless of that formula, the new structure height is based on the highest measurement. Leveling the roofline will mean that at the shoreline of the harbor, which is over the high tide mark, the building will be higher than it is now.

Gartley said the red shed does not appear to be a tall building from any view. He pointed out, as did Planning Board members, that the maximum height for a single-story building with marine use is 32 feet in the Harbor Business District, whereas the allowed height for a two-story structure with residential on the second floor is 24 feet.

Planning, Development and Code Office Director Jeremy Martin said that drawings of the building from various viewpoints would be helpful for the Oct. 17 meeting.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 09, 2019 16:02

Sounds good to me. Glad the zoning rule is in effect. Such a scenic location.

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