Planning board approves plans for Belfast Bay Inn expansionOwners considering financial feasibiliy of project
Belfast — The planning board approved plans for an addition to the Belfast Bay Inn at its meeting Aug. 13.
Ed Hemmingsen, owner with his wife Judy of the inn located at 70-72 Main St., presented plans to the board that showed a three-floor addition at the back of the building. It will extend 27 ½ feet into part of the existing hotel courtyard area. The hotel is currently three stories.
Peter Jaques, owner of Belfast Coin Laundry on High Street, spoke in favor of the request during the public hearing. “Everything Ed has done has been first class,” he said. “I welcome any new business in town; it might bring some more to all of us.”
With the new addition and by splitting two existing suites, Hemmingsen would add five units to the hotel, bringing the total to 13.
New corridors leading from the front to the back of the building would also be added on the second and third floors. The addition containing these would be partially supported by columns demarcating a new ground-level outdoor corridor in the courtyard area.
The Pendleton Street face of the addition would include three windows, one on each floor, and an arched tunnel leading into the courtyard.
To reduce street noise in the rooms, the southwest side of the addition (facing High Street) would not have windows overlooking the parking area.
Members of the planning board indicated they would like to see brick on the side facing Pendleton Street. The in-town design review committee reviewed plans July 30 and granted a permit that allowed for flexibility in the use of building materials because the addition is to the back of the building, not on its Main Street facing side.
Hemmingsen said he would use brick for the Pendleton Street side if it is economically feasible and masonry clapboard for the side facing the parking area.
Regarding fire safety, Hemmingsen said the addition would include sprinklers and that the fire exits at the elevator lobby are in compliance based on the length of the corridor.
Assistant City Planner Sadie Lloyd said the project complies with downtown commercial zone requirements and meets commercial performance standards and environmental standards.
Lloyd said best management practices for prevention of erosion and sedimentation of nearby waters would be observed during construction.
The project is an amendment to an existing subdivision plan and use permit that give the owner the option to convert the hotel into condominiums in the future.
Hemmingsen told The Journal Aug. 15 that next steps are to have the building plans reviewed by the code enforcer and to determine if the project is financially feasible. They would then put the project out to bid.
“We hope to do it,” he said.