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Bean Yard no longer a subdivision

By Susan Mustapich | Jan 14, 2020

CAMDEN — The Bean Yard is once again a single lot dedicated to marine uses, now that a residential subdivision plan drawn up for the lot a decade ago has been removed.

Abandonment is the official term for removing an approved subdivision plan. At the request of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding Company, the Planning Board voted unanimously on Jan. 9 to abandon the five-lot Steamboat Landing subdivision.

The abandonment process took very little time.

Drew Lyman, owner, and Joshua Moore, agent, explained to the Board that Lyman Morse wants "to return the property to the single lot that it was before it was implemented as a subdivision." Plans the former owner had for the property are "no longer applicable to the marine storage and service business that we operate," Moore said.

Planning Board Chairperson Rosie Curtis asked why Lyman Morse wanted to do this.

Lyman explained the company was advised to eliminate the subdivision when they bought the property, because it is taxed at a higher rate. The company has owned the property since July 2015. Lyman said they are paying more in taxes for the divided lots.

Jeremy Martin, Camden Planning and Development Director, said that the process for removing the subdivision from the property involved only the Planning Board vote and signing of a single document. He said the Planning Board could not take tax value into consideration when making their decision.

Planning Board member Richard Bernhard expressed support for Lyman Morse "for what they are contributing to the community. This makes so much sense. I see it [Bean Yard] as part of the working waterfront, as opposed to a residential development."

The Bean Yard is located in the Harbor Business District. The five subdivision lots included a 2.2 acre lot (Number 5) next to Steamboat Landing, with 369 feet of shorefront, land valued at $1.95 million and boat-work and storage buildings valued at $450,000. An adjacent 2 acre lot (Number 4) on Sea St., with no waterfront, was valued at around $400,000. The next lot on Sea St. Number 3) was valued at $109,000. An interior lot (Number 2) with a metal building and no road frontage is not assigned a value, and another interior lot (Number 1) with no road frontage was assigned a value of $56,300. The valuations listed were for property tax assessment purposes.

In 2007, Wayfarer Marine owned the Bean Yard and sought a zoning change that would allow condominiums to be built there. Citizens blocked that proposal by voting for a moratorium on residential development in the Harbor Business District. In 2008, multiple interconnected amendments to Harbor District zoning were placed on the ballot, and approved by voters. One result of these zoning changes was that residential development was allowed on the upper Bean Yard, away from the waterfront. No condominiums were ever built.

From 1875 to the early 1900s, many schooners were built at the Holly M. Bean shipyard. These included a large number of three-, four- and five-masted vessels, and the first six-master built on the East Coast. According to historical sources, the larger schooners built at the Bean Yard were for transporting coal.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 17, 2020 13:49

History should be preserved and kudos for remaining a waterfront business zone.

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