City amends Searsport Avenue zoning district to allow boat building-related operations

By Ben Holbrook | Jun 19, 2014

Belfast — 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.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Laurie Lee Allen | Jun 19, 2014 14:26

Seaview Terrace residents brought it against rezoning us to R3. Regardless of Council's refusal to give us agenda. Nipping their corruption early is key. Gotcha. Demand to see all approvals and documents through out the process. In this case, Maine State Law Comprehensive Plan Procedures is  on line. First 2 steps violated and I was on it. In this meeting, they know I will be citing this law again at open to the public and demanding a 6/5/14 FOAA request that would prove it was not fulfilled, I was on my 3rd request.

Mayor Ash tells me to stay for communications so City Planner, Wayne Marshall, can dismiss Maine State Law basically. Not this time pal. He rants about Contract Rezoning to confuse and eminent domain. Worse than eminent domain is inverse condemnation. Government force floods your property, destroys it, renders it worthless, than takes it at rock bottom compensation since it is destroyed. Hello- what have I been saying for 3 years.

Council Roger Lee joins in on the Stupid Laurie bashing at the 2nd open to the public with the contract rezoning term, just like Wayne. Look at him laughing at me, smug in confidence. I tell him on the State link it says the use of contract zoning has no legal meaning here, it is an art word.  They know it too but are just trying to make me look stupid in the eyes of the public again. Here it is, an excerpt taken from the Maine Comprehensive Plan Contract Zoning:

It should be understood at the outset that the phrase "contract zoning"
is simply a convenient term of art. It has no legal significance in and of
itself but merely refers to a reclassification of a land use in which the
landowner agrees, prior to a zoning amendment, to perform conditions
not imposed on others in the same zoning classification. ...

See details on The City Attorney Bill Kelly was present and Zoning/Code Todd Rosenburg- for an executive meeting after... other residents cited natural selection- a good one, traffic, it was great. I didn't know anyone else came until they got up to speak. I was in the front row, Our ward Council Mary Mortier, advising my neighbor to advise other residents to educate themselves. Nasty. We were pouring our hearts out to save are homes from their takeover,

For a month, I've been relentless to get us out of a proposed R3 Zone now! Before public hearings! We must be in public hearings for R1 on 6/25/14. R3 hearings are 7/2/14- too late, Link to 6/17/14 Council Meeting, click 6, then 11.


Well alright, alright, alright,!!! Just found out at the Planning Board meeting last night, City Planner Wayne Marshall has placed Seaview Terrace into the proposed R1 meetings. Way to go Seaview Terrace. Thanks to all who stood up!

Next- get the water out of Seaview Terrace- Wight Street will be sending us even more with their "sidewalks" and improvements. Pave with road side sewers. We be Happy Families!!


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