On The Line

What do you think of the proposed five-story hotel?

By Staff | Apr 28, 2014

Take our On The Line poll to tell us what you think about a proposed five-story hotel at 250 Main St. in Rockland.

The 26-room hotel is proposed by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, and it is estimated to cost $2.9 million.

Parking for the hotel will be located on the adjacent block, between Park and Pleasant streets, through a lease being finalized with Maine State Department of Transportation, according to documents at city hall. "The 30-space parking lot can be accessed from Union Street through the Midcoast Mental Health Center. A second access route would be provided through 70 Park St., near Eastern Tire."

A new On The Line poll will be published each week in The Courier-Gazette and Knox.villagesoup.com. Click on "On The Line" at the upper left corner of our homepage any time to take the most recent poll.

On The Line polls are not scientific, though we are looking into ways to make these polls more accurate.

If you have a suggestion for a poll question we should ask, email it to news@villagesoup.com, attention Dan Dunkle.

Comments (15)
Posted by: David E Myslabodski | May 11, 2014 13:32

Today is Sunday May 11. 13 days later and still wondering where are the results . . . . . .

Posted by: troy a goodnow | May 05, 2014 19:31

It's got to start somewhere....this may be the first of many renewals in Rockland...jobs, better tax base, in 5 years you'll wish it had happened much sooner.

Posted by: James York | Apr 30, 2014 17:02

I look at Rankin Center, the Navigator, the Court House, even the Myrtle St building and see residential neighborhoods nearby those buildings much like Pleasant St Corner.  Larger Main St/Union St building are in front and houses/apt behind them.   So if you look at our city this fits in, some might not like that it fits in Their front yard, but when you live close to downtown.... along with traffic, noise and other things (development) their is going to a trade-off.  Further I don't hear of my friends looking to leave our city because there is too much development rather it is because they can't afford the taxes and the schools system is broken; We need to expand the tax base and welcome development to keep our city affordable.  This building is a pretty significant gauge as to whether or not our city will welcome new growth or be stuck trying to figure out how to get in its own way.  The article below in the Free Press has it right : http://www.freepressonline.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=31745&SectionID=50&SubSectionID=73&S=1

Posted by: PJ Walter | Apr 30, 2014 11:23

Amy as a matter of fact the Downtown Zone has been in place for decades.  Did you know that what we call Mildred Merrill Park was (up until a couple of decades ago) private land with three story buildings on it? Recently, it was expanded South to include the Friends of Maine Seabirds property at the corner of Water and South Main to eliminate the parking requirement for the organization and because it made good sense for the city to invite this organization to our community.  I didn't hear anyone argue against that.  When Frank was on Comps when the first building design was submitted.  At that time, the Planning Board asked Comps about height, and they made recommendations about transition heights at the ends of the downtown zone, but the Council never acted on it.  Had this been put in place we would not be in the position we are in now.

Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Apr 29, 2014 20:15

To J N:

Getting personal . . . .

1] Ranting against the renewal of "The Store"? Nope!

2] Ranting against the renewal of the "3Crow" building? Nope!

3] Ranting against the renovations at the TradeWinds? Nope!

4] Ranting against The Chowder House? Nope!

5] Ranting against Linda Bean's plant at the industrial park? Nope!

5] Ranting against the 1%ers taking over Rockland? ALWAYS!!!


Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Apr 29, 2014 20:04


Re "How much would a stay cost?"

If you have to ask; it means you [as most of us average Rocklanders] will not be able to afford it.

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Apr 29, 2014 16:19

I would like the square footage of EACH of the 26 rooms.

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Apr 29, 2014 16:18

I believe that if every resident in Rockland went to the Planning Board  Meeting a voted against this hotel it would make no difference because it has been decided, I am sure, that this hotel is going to be built and to heck with what the citizens think.  I would like to know the square footage of the 26 rooms in this hotel and how much is it going to cost a night to stay at the hotel. Does anyone have an answer?

Posted by: Amy Files | Apr 29, 2014 14:53

Hi PJ!

I don't see the height as a given - but as an allowed parameter. The building also needs to meet the intent and standards of the rest of the code. Just like the Planning Board gave weight to some of the more general language in the code in order to pass the CMCA -- they also have the right to say that this building doesn't meet the initial language in the code -- the building should be "compatible with existing uses and architectural scale." It abuts a 2-story home, is across the street from a Cape and is the cornerstone of an important residential neighborhood -- one that our city is legally required to protect and preserve as residential per our Comprehensive Plan. I don't think that anyone can argue that a 5-story building is "compatible" with the existing architectural scale of 2 and 1 story homes.

My experience so far is that this city has a tendency to want to change the zone in response to private developer requests -- not the other way around.

I don't know when the Downtown zone was extended to abut right up against our residential neighborhood -- but I wouldn't be surprised if it was motivated by spot zoning and a private business's request.

It is funny you mention applying to the Comprehensive Planning Commission. I put my application in back in February but it has not been moved forward for approval.

Posted by: Jake Newcomb | Apr 29, 2014 10:16

David, you are constantly ranting against new projects here in the city in fear of it changing the city for the better.  What do you want Rockland to be?  Lewiston?  Biddeford?  Sanford?  High crime rates and high rates of vacancy?  We're never going to be like Camden or Bar Harbor, it's just not geographically possible, so why fight improvement tooth and nail?

Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Apr 29, 2014 06:48

"Gentrified" is far better than letting everything deteriorate into slummy shacks. Most of the residential houses in Rockland are very old, and they become very expensive to keep up. Keeping things even remotely the same is actually going to cost a lot of money, so if the old charm is to remain it's better that somewhat wealthier people come in. Better kept homes increase the value of all homes in the area. The architecture of the hotel looks pretty typical of beach side hotels everywhere, to allow as many rooms with a view as possible. In 5 years everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Posted by: David E Myslabodski | Apr 29, 2014 00:12

It is VERY interesting how some people suffer from SCR [Selective Code Reading]. VERBATIM:  "The purpose of the Downtown zone is to preserve and promote a compact, historic commercial district to serve as the retail, office, institutional, financial, government,and cultural center of the community.This zone should include mixed uses that are compatible with existing uses and architectural scale."

Pls notice the word COMMUNITY.  How many Rocklanders will be able to afford having visiting relatives stay at such "high-end" boutique establishment?

Our beloved City of Rockland is at a crossroads. If this development is allowed, rest assure, that more will follow and Rockland will become the summer playground of the "Rich & Famous" and the average worker will have to live somewhere else.

I am sure some people will love to see Rockland join the long list of GENTRIFIED communities!

Posted by: Galo Joseph Hernandez 3rd | Apr 28, 2014 23:14

So if this slab sided box goes in, whose fault will it be when the fumes of the coffee roaster start wafting in point plank! They went to the trouble of raising the stack, but it will never be tall enough with that building next door!

Posted by: PJ Walter | Apr 28, 2014 18:11

The problem Amy is that this lot in question is in the downtown zone.  Everything north of Pleasant Street between Main and Union is in the downtown zone which allows for 65 foot building height.  Like it or not, this building is allowed.  For whatever reason, no one involved at the time thought it was a good idea to put any type of transitional building height in the downtown zone.  The way the zoning is now, the homes behind this building lot could also be sold, torn down and have 65ft buildings put on them.  We all have a tendency to want to change zoning when a project that we don't like comes to town.  That is not the time to do it.  In fact, I believe the comprehensive planning commission has some openings.  If you look at the zoning for the city, there are lots of things that don't seem to make much sense.  I do agree that it's gonna look really odd with this huge building next to a little cape.

Posted by: Amy Files | Apr 28, 2014 16:34

Please take a look at the architect's renderings (cut and paste the link into your browser):

View from Main Street and Park:


View from Pleasant back near Trackside:


The zone calls for the building to be "compatible with existing uses and architectural scale." There is absolutely no way that anyone can argue that a 5 story (really 6 now with the roof and elevator bank) building is compatible with the one-story cape across the street, abutting 2 story home and the rest of the residential neighborhood of which it will be a cornerstone.

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