August 10, 2017

In Damariscotta, controversy over proposed development continues to grow

A standing-room-only crowd attended a Damariscotta Planning Board meeting early this week to hear details of Commercial Properties Inc. CEO Daniel Catlin's proposal for a mixed-use complex on Main Street.

Days after a group of residents proposed a moratorium on construction, the planning board outlined plans for the mixed-use development, which would include three buildings totaling 30,000 square feet.

"This is one of the largest developments we've had in Damariscotta. It's going to be a lengthy ordeal," planning board chair Jonathan Eaton said, according to the Lincoln County News.

Caitlin said he hasn't signed a tenant, "but I have been directed by someone to put this whole thing together. I'm not at liberty to divulge who this is, but they are very excited to come to Damariscotta."

Catlin's plan would include three buildings:one of 22,000 square feet that would include two retail stores, a second of 5,525 square feet with three retail spaces and a third, 2,700-square-foot space for a bank with a drive-thru.The plan would include parking in front of the 5,525-square-foot building — an idea that drew negative response from some in attendance.

"I think the large group you're seeing here tonight is a reaction to the way the town has evolved," planning board member Adam Maltese said.

The Lincoln County News reported earlier this week that, shortly before the planning board meeting, Damariscotta residents have submitted a petition to the town requesting a six-month moratorium on the development of retail buildings larger than 2,500 square feet. The petition cited an unanticipated "threat of increased development pressure from large scale retail development."


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