City councilors approved the second reading of an ordinance amendment that allow a boat building business to operate on Searsport Avenue.

The proposed zoning amendment, which applies to the Searsport Avenue Commecial Zoning District, would allow John O'Donovan and Patrick Dole, owners of O'Donovan and Dole Traditional Wooden Boatworks, to relocate to Belfast.

The business would be located on Searsport Avenue in close proximity to Viking Lumber.

Currently, the Searsport Avenue district allows uses such as light industrial, warehouses and storage facilities, among other activities, but does not specifically identify boat building, retrofitting, repair and storage as a permitted use.

Members of the planning board reviewed the proposed amendment May 13 and May 28, at which time they determined that boat building, retrofitting, boat repair and boat storage is similar to many of the existing businesses and permitted uses, and that is consistent with the intended purpose statement for the zoning area, City Planner Wayne Marshall wrote in a memo.

Marshall also pointed out that the planning board recommended the council approve the amendment at this time because it is a time sensitive request for the buyer, and because the proposed use is very similar to existing uses in the district.

He noted the planning board discussed two amendments the council made in recent months regarding a request from Maine Maritime Products to add an accessory restaurant use in the Business Park zoning district and a parking waiver provision for restaurants in the Waterfront Mixed Use zoning district.

“In short, a zoning ordinance amendment such as the currently proposed amendment is a rather common practice for municipalities, including the city of Belfast,” Marshall wrote in the memo.

Councilors approved the zoning amendment unanimously without further discussion. With that approval, O'Donovan and Dole will need to submit a site plan application for review by the planning board. During the review, the board will determine if the project satisfies all applicable standards. Marshall notes the purpose of the zoning ordinance amendment is to create an opportunity for the property owners to submit an application.

In other business

Councilors appointed Adrian Stone as a full time paramedic for the Belfast Ambulance Service.

City officials gave Fire Chief Jim Richards the authority to sell a 2006 Ford ambulance for $3,010.

Councilors also gave their approval to a fee arrangement between the ambulance service and Harbor Hill for non emergency transports.