Rockland waterfront house is symbolic of demand for city properties

By Stephen Betts | Aug 10, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland City Council agreed not to change the zone at 84 Crescent St.

Rockland — Residents of Rockland's South End are keenly focused on the potential sale of a home near the waterfront.

"The whole neighborhood is abuzz," Mayor Valli Geiger said.

At issue is a house located at the waterfront end of Crescent Street where it meets Scott Street. The 84 Crescent St. property had been owned by Newty Chambers since 1960. The home abuts Sandy Beach and Harbor Trail.

Chambers died in May, and her heirs have put the property up for sale. The city has the property assessed at $200,000, but the asking price for the 10-room, 1,820-square-foot home on about a quarter-acre of waterfront property is $485,000.

City Council considered at its Monday, Aug. 6 meeting whether to rezone the property. The property is currently zoned waterfront 1, which allows a variety of marine activities as well as restaurants and educational facilities.

Real estate agent Melissa Maker said 98 percent of the people who have expressed interest in the house want it for a residence, but there have been a few people interested in it for commercial purposes. She recommended that the property remain in the current zone and allow the next owners to request a zone change if they want.

Geiger pointed out that a couple of the people interested in the property want to expand the house considerably.

The neighborhood has seen a flurry of homes being purchased with major renovations and additions. There are three homes undergoing massive renovations within a few hundred feet of the Chambers house including two across the street.

Councilor Ed Glaser said the property is near the dock where Dragon Cement ships out its cement and that the zone was created to protect the working waterfront.

A residence is a non-conforming use in the waterfront zone and the zone would need to be changed to residential to allow for sizeable expansion.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 13, 2018 08:46

Rules only apply to the peasant class.  If you are talking about "nonconforming" properties, how about the house on the corner of so. Maine and pleasant across from the hotel.  They raised the roof and doubled the size of the building all on a postage stamp lot.  You couldn't walk between the house and side or back lines.  Depending on who buys Mrs. Chambers house you can be assured the rules will be bent or broken and what a shame that soon a new trophy home will sit where somebody's family home once stood.  That little building was Mr. Chambers wood shop that he enjoyed for many years.  Here comes the "gentrification" of Rockland and outgo the dancing peasants.

Posted by: ananur forma | Aug 12, 2018 17:34

I have always loved the little cottage in the back yard of this home. What an amazing location for someone. Hopefully not ever to be made into a hotel or restaurant!  I hope that the owners get a pretty penny for it. Wishing only the very Best of luck for them. They should have lots of offers for this property!!!!   A hotel or restaurant here, would be my opinion.

Posted by: Stephen Betts | Aug 11, 2018 09:44

Gerald, good point. I will add that to story. That is why there is talk of changing the zone to residential.

Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Aug 10, 2018 23:10


I think you will find that an existing house is a noncomforming use in the WF1 Zone and as such cannot be expanded at all if it remains as a residence (see 19-304.D.b and 19-304.22.B.b). I know there is a height limit but I can’t find it - I think it’s 45 feet. Also note that the floor area ratio of any building can’t exceed 50%. This means that in this case the maximum square footage of any building on this site can’t exceed 10,890 square feet. That’s not foot print but the sum of all floors.

Posted by: Sandra Schramm | Aug 10, 2018 11:35

Part of a new proposed marina with tall ships and 100+ ft. yachts in front of all the real estate investment currently going on down in that area? Almost anything goes right now. This is not an easy decision to make with so much to consider.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 10, 2018 08:36

So if some Billionaire pays a million dollars to purchase and improve this property what are they going to think about a walking trail and dancing peasants cluttering up their front yard.  ?   and what about height requirements ?  Could someone build a home the height of the Hotel on So. Main st ?

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