2018-05-25 / Community

In the Know

HEARING SCHEDULED – The Cape Elizabeth Town Council will hold a public hearing on June 11 on a proposal that would allow the Cape Elizabeth Service Center to sell up to three used cars on its lot at 560 Shore Road.

The proposal would add language to the zoning ordinance defining a repair garage, and allowing a repair garage in the Shore Road business zone to also sell up to three vehicles.

The planning board, after two workshops and an April public hearing, unanimously recommended council consideration.

The council referred the proposal to the planning board in February at the request of the Cape Elizabeth Service Center, which had been selling a limited number of repaired vehicles on its lot. The practice, however, is not permitted by town ordinance.

After the June 11 hearing the council may adopt the proposal, deny it, or refer it to the council’s ordinance committee.

DUE DILLIGENCE – The Cape Elizabeth Town Council on May 14 accepted reports from the Harbors Committee and from the Spurwink School Committee, ad hoc committees that have been working on their respective charges since 2016.

The Spurwink School Committee recommends that the town council accept the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society’s bid to use the school, a former one-room school house that most recently housed the Thomas Memorial Library’s children’s section, for its office and historical collection.

According to the report:

“We conclude that locating the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society in the building is a viable and good use of the facility that would provide benefit to the community, and are pleased to give the Town Council our unanimous endorsement of their proposal.”

Still to be determined are how the building would be conveyed to the society and how building renovations and improvements would be funded.

The Harbors Committee report presents a more complicated set of recommendations on issues related to Cape Elizabeth’s harbors.

In its executive summary, the report is recommending that the town:

 Accept recommended changes to the Town’s Coastal Waters and Harbor Ordinance, as outlined in the report

 Resolve Kettle Cove/Crescent Beach area access and circulation issues and implement other related changes

 Complete the mooring mapping update process, revise the town’s website mooring section to reflect current conditions, and continue to support a professional Harbormaster position

 Maintain and improve upon places of public water access

 Maintain a working waterfront by providing a balance between commercial and recreational uses

 Take actions to mitigate adverse sea level rise consequences

 Conduct a comprehensive review of the town’s marine resources and its management on a time frame not to exceed a 10-year duration

The report includes results from an online public survey conducted in July 2017, and a draft marine resourced chapter for the 2019 Comprehensive Plan currently under development.

The town council referred both reports to a future workshop.

FORT NEWS – The Fort Williams Park Committee is recommending that tour buses that visit the park stay out of Captain Strout Circle, directly in front of Portland Head Light.

The recommendation is No. 1 among new rules and fees proposed for commercial vehicles visiting Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park.

The Town Council on May 14 referred to a future workshop a list of recommendations for enhancing safety, managing patron density and improving infrastructure, while reducing the taxpayer burden of commercial traffic in the park. One of the 2018 goals for the council is to review the mission, vision and financial sustainability of Fort Williams Park.

The recommendations were developed by a subcommittee of the Fort Williams Park Committee and approved by the full panel.

No. 1 recommendation for safety: “Eliminate commercial van and bus traffic from Captain Strout Circle, with the exception of trolleys and local senior citizen vans (which do not offload passengers). Provide signage at the four way stop to facilitate the change as well as appropriate placement of informational signage throughout the park.”

The report further recommends improvements to the central parking area and approach to the lighthouse, including drainage improvements, stable (paved) surfaces and railways and benches where needed.

Included in the recommendations is a new “Commercial Capacity Based” fee structure for vans and limousines, mini-buses, trolleys and motor coaches. The proposal projects revenues of $87,400 from commercial vehicles in the 2019 season, compared to the $57,150 generated in 2017, an increase of 53 percent.

The report also recommends the towncCouncil move forward with requests-for-proposals to implement a pay/ display parking program.

Councilors accepted the report with thanks and refer it to a workshop yet to be scheduled.

NEARLY THERE – Final surface paving was completed on Hill Way in Cape Elizabeth on May 17.

Disturbed areas have been loamed and will need to be seeded, said Public Works Director Robert Malley.

Remaining tasks are to put the surface layer on the sidewalks and match in the driveways to the road surface.

“It is hoped to wrap up the project in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting,” Malley said.

Completion of the work at Hill Way finishes the first phase of a three-year project to improve the pavement, drainage and pedestrian safety on Hill Way and Scott Dyer Road.

IT’S A PLAN – The town of Cape Elizabeth wants to hear from residents regarding its comprehensive plan.

A public forum is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 at Cape Elizabeth Town Hall. The forum will feature keypad polling.

It will include discussion about land-use changes over the next 10 years and feature a summary of the work on public facilities and services, fiscal capacity and capital improvements, natural resources, water resources, agricultural and forestry resources, historical and archaeological resources, recreation and open space.

A complete draft of the plan should be completed by the end of 2018. Draft materials may be viewed here on the town website.

– Information compiled from the town of Cape Elizabeth website.

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