Shipyard addresses parking, signage for facility expansion
Belfast — Representatives from Front Street Shipyard addressed parking and new signage, as the planning board took a second look at a plan to construct a sixth building.
The proposal from the shipyard involves constructing a sixth building adjacent to the existing Building No. 5. The new building would be 69 feet in height and about 28,500 square feet in size.
Construction on Building No. 6 will be done in two phases. The first phase would be to construct a 21,979 square foot structure. The second phase would involve constructing a 4,800 square foot extension, which could be added at a future date.
In order to be able to construct Building No. 6, the shipyard and the city have an agreement that allows the shipyard to lease the existing Front Street Parking lot where the new building will be constructed. The shipyard will pay the city $3,333 a month over a period of five years.
At the end of the five year period, the shipyard has the option to purchase the parking lot property, which is valued at about $600,000.
During an initial review of the application on Wednesday, Aug. 28, members of the planning board asked J.B.Turner, president of the shipyard, to find room to add at least two more handicap parking spaces on the property. Turner was also asked to address any new signage that would be installed on Building No. 6.
Speaking to planning board members Sept. 11, Turner said the shipyard will add two handicap spaces near Building No. 1, which is located closest to the Armistice Footbridge. Planning Board member Elizabeth Minor asked if it would be possible to designate some other handicap spaces that are scattered around the property.
“So it doesn't take any more room, all it takes is a sign,” Minor said of designating other handicap spaces.
Will Gartley, president of the Camden-based Gartley and Dorsky engineering and surveying firm, responded by saying that if there was a need to designate other spaces then the shipyard could do so.
In terms of new signage, Turner told planning board members if the shipyard decides to install a sign on the the new building, it would go on the north side of Building No. 6 facing Building No. 4. The new sign would be the same size as the sign that is on the south side of Building No. 5, Turner said.
“We don't see any reason to put a sign on the south side [of Building No. 6] since Building 5 already has a sign that everybody can see from town,” Turner said.
During a brief public comment session, no one spoke for or against the project.
As planning board members worked through the application, City Planner Wayne Marshall highlighted some of the conditions of approval for the application.
The shipyard anticipates adding about 40 new employees with the construction of Building No. 6 and to provide adequate parking for their workers, the shipyard will lease property from Penobscot McCrum to gain about 45 parking spaces. Marshall noted that one of the conditions for approval is that the shipyard provide proof of the lease to the city, and that if the lease is not continued in the future, the shipyard must find equivalent parking at another location.
Marshall also pointed out that the city does not want shipyard employees to park in the 12 spaces the city is building at the Armistice Footbridge and that they shouldn't park at the former Maskers Theater building.
He continued by saying parking at the shipyard cannot interfere with the public's use of the Harbor Walk or Front Street. Planning Board members asked how employees at the shipyard knew where they can and cannot park. Turner responded by saying he will update his workers on where they can park.
The next phase of the application is for the planning board to go through the findings of fact before it goes before the project goes before the city council. Marshall estimated the application could go before the city council during their first meeting in October.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.
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