Town Council Meeting, September 6, 2006
To Members of the Residents Group and Other on the Pine Point Mail List
We met with the Town Council last evening and presented our Group's proposal. As you will read in the article below from the Forecaster, the Council chose to postpone a study for now. They were appreciative of our efforts and agreed that we would have a role in future decisions. The barrier issue itself was not resolved as a separate matter since our proposal asked for a study of it along with the Hollis property. But we're hopeful that the barrier controversy will be addressed by the Council sooner than next year given the strong feelings of residents and the fact that it is now a year-round barricade to the public street.
While we would like to see the Town be proactive and put plans in place through this study, the Council's desire is to examine the issues in the context of the Town's Comprehensive Plan which has just had a major review and adoption. We succeeded last night in placing all of the issues on the public record, including a very detailed report documenting all of the issues and our Group's concerns. The Council clearly recognizes and respects the work of our Group, and we're grateful to have been given so much of their time and attention.
Thank you to everyone. We will be in touch should other developments occur. In the meantime, if you have any comments for the Group, please reply and give permission to have your mail forwarded to the e-mail list.
Representatives of the Residents Group
Hutch, John, Jack, Judy
|Council postpones Pine Point study|
|SCARBOROUGH - After much discussion Wednesday night, town councilors postponed organization of a new road study for Depot Street, also known as Pine Point Road.
Four representatives of the Pine Point Residents Group presented their 27-page proposal to the council at Wednesday's meeting. Speaking on behalf of the nearly 100 members of the group, Jack Callahan, Judy Shirk, Harold Hutchinson and John Thurlow called for a study that would take another look at the traffic barriers at Pine Point, study ways to improve public access to the beach from Depot Street and plan ways to best use the 3,400-square-foot piece of land that developer Paul Hollis intends to donate to the town from part of his proposed Beach Walk subdivision.
The donated land abuts a portion of the Lighthouse Motor Inn's parking strip. Although Thurlow said he would like to determine a use for the property in Phase I of the study, Town Manager Ron Owens reminded him that the town does not yet own the land. He also cautioned that it would be irresponsible to represent it as a park or an open space to potential residents of the new subdivision because it might at some point become part of a reconfigured Depot Road.
The group also brought up last year's proposed land exchange between the town and owners of the Lighthouse Motor Inn, Nick and Peter Truman. As part of the Trumans' 2005 plan, their motel would have been converted to five condominium units and the existing parking strip would have been traded to the town for a piece of land that would have given them better access to the new units.
Although the deal is off the table for now after the Truman's decision to withdraw their conversion plan, Thurlow encouraged the town to be "proactive" in seeking a proportional land exchange, suggesting a 2-1 ratio in the town's favor.
But Owens said the discussion was premature at this point, since the Trumans had changed their minds. In addition, he said any committee that might be formed in the future would need to include the Trumans although, at this time, they are unwilling to be involved.
"I don't think there's any disagreement on what we'd like to do with the end of Depot Street; it's how we get there," Owens said. "We need to have all parties represented and participating."
Though the Lighthouse Inn's possible conversion is not a component of the group's proposed study, apprehension over the future of the Trumans' property continues to hover over any discussion of changes at Pine Point.
Most recently, the residents' group has rallied against the Trumans' current idea of converting the motel into 22 "condotel" units, a plan that the town's attorney has determined would be a "change of use," requiring approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Though, for now, the Pine Point group has chosen not to comment on this newest possibility, Thurlow said he's "confident the group will be taking a position on it" if it should go to the board.
After a period of debate at Wednesday's meeting, Councilor Sylvia Most suggested tabling the discussion of a study group until next year at this time, when the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee will take up Pine Point.
"That would give a cooling off period to the Truman's but won't give so much time that we'll lose sight of the discussion," she said.
The council commended the residents' group for the time and effort they put into their proposal and presentation but, ultimately, decided to delay a new study and to consider many of the issues brought forward as part of the Comprehensive Plan process.
"(Depot Road) is one area for the committee to study and to make recommendations on changes to policy that would effect the area," Owens said Thursday.
As for the Hollis land conveyance, Owens said determinations on its use do not need to be made until spring as it's unlikely the developer would be starting work on the project before that time.
Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.