Subtle changes proposed to five-story hotel

By Larry Di Giovanni | May 16, 2014
Courtesy of: Scattergood Design Property for the proposed five-story hotel at 250 Main St., at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets, is seen from an aerial view provided May 15 in a Revised Site Plan from Scattergood Design architects.

Rockland — In advance of the city's Planning Board meeting May 20, a revised architectural site plan for the proposed five-story, $2.9 million hotel at 250 Main St. was received May 16 by the city.

The proposed project, at the corner of Pleasant and Main streets, remains a five-story, 26-room boutique hotel. The developer is Cabot Lyman, owner of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, although the site plan review is filed under the name ADZ Properties.

The newest revised application for site plan review was completed May 15 by Scattergood Design architects of Portland. The new plans outline "how the project has been designed and modified in concert with the city's zoning and design standards, as well as concerns raised by neighbors that have been brought to our attention as of this date," architect T. Scott Teas wrote in a May 15 memo.

The new plan shows that a terra cotta rainscreen is now "the dominant feature of the 250 Main Street facade," with a height of four stories on Main Street. "The Pleasant Street facade steps back to three stories, or 35 feet, 11 inches toward the center of the block in response to the adjacent single-family houses."

In addition, "The fifth floor is recessed one foot on Main and Pleasant streets, and treated in a different material to reduce the sense of scale," Teas continued. "The total height is 57 feet, eight feet lower than permitted."

The elevator override and solar collectors are 72 feet high, while zoning permits a maximum of 75 feet, Teas wrote. Their location near the center of the whole block will make them "less visible from the adjacent streets." In addition, "The overall footprint of the building has been reduced since the preliminary submission, so that occupied spaces are now three feet from the west property line."

Issues related to a proposed hotel parking lot, valet parking provided from the hotel to the lot, and concern over traffic flow were also addressed by Teas. A 30-space parking area will be provided on the adjacent block between Park and Pleasant streets, through a lease with the Maine Department of Transportation.

It is proposed that entry to the parking lot will come from Union Street through the Midcoast Health Center, with a second access route provided through 70 Park St., near Eastern Tire. An application for Planning Board review of the parking lot will be submitted once the hotel has been approved, according to Teas.

In a May 16 letter to The Courier-Gazette, Lyman said his plans call for the hotel to open in the summer of 2015, with "accommodations (that) would be in the upscale-mid market range."

While noting that parking is not required for projects in the downtown zone, Lyman said the current parking proposal is optimal.

"At maximum capacity, we are talking roughly 26 cars — a small impact on the traffic volume on a daily basis," he wrote. "And here's the thing — because we are in town — guests can walk to all that Rockland has to offer. There is no bar or restaurant in the lobby, so there will be no additional traffic or the deliveries associated with their businesses."

The May 20 Planning Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall and will include a public hearing concerning the proposed hotel.

Neighbors on Pleasant Street have posted signs urging residents to turn out to the upcoming planning board hearing on plans for a five-story hotel. Neighbors have raised concerns about the parking plan for the project. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Comments (6)
Posted by: Jason Merriam | May 17, 2014 22:42

The revisions to this hotel proposal are an insult to the intelligence of the greater Rockland community. This proposed design could be dropped in almost any downtown community in New England.  The fact that the proposed building turns it's back on Main St. speaks volumes. Just because a building can be built to an ordinance or code doesn't mean it should. Rockland deserves better. I look forward to seeing everyone on the 20th.

Posted by: Lynne A Barnard | May 17, 2014 17:25

To call this project "an ugly pig with tons of lipstick" is an insult to all pigs everywhere.  This project, as it is proposed, is a wart on the face of Rockland.  It is aesthetically unappealing and unnecessary.  We already have one new 65 room hotel in the works just two blocks away -- The Rockland Harbor Park Inn.  That hotel has plenty of on-site parking and a developer with experience in hotel operation and ownership.  Stuart Smith, the developer of The Rockland Harbor Inn has for years made a huge contribution to this community by maintaining our treasured boardwalk and he was thoughtful enough to meet with residents of the community to listen to our concerns.  Mr. Lyman does not live in Rockland nor is his boat building business located here.  His abandoned condominium project excavation  has been a blight on the community for the past four years. The photograph at the end of this article says it all -- "Save our Street - May 20 - 5:15 Planning Board."  I'll be there.

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | May 17, 2014 15:23

I suggest the residents in Rockland WHO OPPOSE THIS HOTEL contact an attorney and see if there is anything legally they can do to stop this fiasco.

Posted by: David E Myslabodski | May 17, 2014 12:57

I am not a boat person so, so far so good. Now; if I ever build in Rockland now I know who not to hire. I pity the Planing Board for having to deal with such an arrogant developer.  An ugly pig with tons of lipstick; a pig remains.

Having people on the "roof" makes it 6 and not 5 levels.

Having worked in hotels, I see that LM plan for parking and deliveries, not only are too optimistic, they are plain unrealistic. LM seems to live in a world where winter does not exist.

I call to all residents of our beloved town to voice your concerns on the 20th.


Posted by: Amy Files | May 17, 2014 09:47

What is missing in this article is that Lyman will be making an UNPRECEDENTED request for a permanent pick-up/drop-off area in front of the building — privatizing public spaces and street. The space will only allow for 1 or 2 cars. There is no adequate plan for times when all 26 guests and their cars show up at once to check-in. This will create a dangerous traffic situation—cars piling up with people trying to get out with luggage, all on our narrow street only a couple of feet from an already challenging intersection.

It is clear that this plan has not been well-thought out. Parking may not be required — but the developer has already said they will not build the hotel without parking (which makes sense, right?).


Posted by: Amy Files | May 17, 2014 09:44

While residents and Planning Board both have voiced serious concerns about the height in comparison to the surrounding scale, not only has Lyman not responded by lower it — in the new plans, the building has actually grown in height!

In response to requesting that the facades that face the Pleasant St neighborhood and our historic downtown show the same attention to design as the front facades (the first round showed blank grey walls and few windows)—the architects have made few changes except to slap on an ugly pattern that looks like an obvious afterthought.

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