2016-03-11 / Community

Parking issues complicate potential brewpub plan

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


A supplemental parking plan is in the works to make sure there is enough space to meet the demands of the proposed Nonesuch River Brewing Company restaurant at 201 Gorham Road. (Courtesy illustration) A supplemental parking plan is in the works to make sure there is enough space to meet the demands of the proposed Nonesuch River Brewing Company restaurant at 201 Gorham Road. (Courtesy illustration) A vacant site on Gorham Road near Eight Corners has been eyed as a potential location for Nonesuch River Brewing, but planning board members are concerned the parking plan won’t meet customer demand.

The plan calls for the construction of a 5,000-squarefoot building, which would include a two-story 4,080-square-foot restaurant and 4,464-square-foot brewery in the basement. The site would include a 54-space parking lot, which more than meets the requirements for the 142-seat restaurant.

Earlier this month, planners voiced their concerns that parking would be a problem, especially if the restaurant turns out to be as much as a success as hyped.

“I have a real tough time sitting on the planning board granting permission to build a restaurant where there is not going to be enough parking,” planner Susan Auglis said earlier this month.

Developers of the restaurant/brewery had hoped to use the nearby parking lot of the Scarborough Free Baptist Church, approximately 0.2 miles away as a satellite site for either employee or valet parking.

“I think we have a preliminary solution, something we’ve talked about. There’s a church around the corner and there is potential to work out some sort of parking agreement,” Lee Allen, an engineer with Northeast Civil Solutions, said Feb. 1.

Planner Ron Mazer found that possibility intriguing.

“I find it interesting that there’s a deal that may be made with the church, so obviously the church is not opposed to it,” he said.

Allen told Mazer that the agreement had “not been finalized, but it is in the planning stages.”

It looks like that will not be an option after all.

Planning Board Chairman Corey Fellows said a few days after the Feb. 1 meeting, the board received a letter from the church to “set the record straight about any potential discussion about utilizing the parking lot for any overflow or valet parking.”

“They are stating there have not been discussions and the church council recently voted against any such provision,” Fellows said, paraphrasing the letter at the end of the board’s most recent meeting.

In the letter, Marion L. Nielsen, a clerk and trustee of the Scarborough Free Baptist Church, states “On February 4, 2016 it was voted by the church council that the clerk write a letter to the town planning board saying we will not allow parking for Nonesuch Brewery and Restaurant or any other restaurant on our facility.”

Mazer was surprised by the news.

“I was told straight-out, on the record, that they had discussed valet parking at the church and according to the letter, no such discussions were ever had and I have a problem with that,” he said Feb. 22.

Allen said on Thursday, Feb. 25 that he met with the owners of the proposed Nonesuch Brewery property and they “are weighing” their options for overflow parking and are committed to building on the property.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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