2015-10-09 / Community

New development in Doane’s Wharf issue

By Duke Harrington
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Concern over commercial parking at a property on Doane’s Wharf Road in Kennebunk will have to wait to get a public airing, as research by the town has revealed alleged violations there were more egregious than initially supposed.

Issues on Doane’s Wharf, a dirt road located at the edge of the Lower Village commercial district, began in early summer.

On June 15, BR2 LLC — reportedly a holding company for Fred Forsley, owner of the Shipyard Shops row of stores that culminates in Federal Jack’s restaurant — purchased the property at 2 and 4 Doane’s Wharf.

The site is often referred to by longstanding locals as Reid’s Boat Yard.

The property includes a private home and marina on the Kennebunk River. Since the property transfer, a gate between the site and Federal Jacks has been opened and Forsley’s crew has allegedly been using the residential and marina lots to hold overflow from Federal Jack’s valet parking. Following complaints from neighbors, Kennebunk’s code enforcement officer issued a notice of violation on July 28. Forsley appealed and a hearing was scheduled for Sept. 22.

However, that meeting was canceled and a new decision issued.

According to Chris Osterrieder, Kennebunk’s director of community development, planning and codes, the home at the site is allowed two parking spaces, while a limit of 28 spots were thought to be the allowance for the marina.

Part of the delay in initial response time, Osterrieder said, was due to the town’s difficulty in proving cars parked on the property belonged to patrons of the nearby restaurants, and not renters of the marina slips and their guests.

However, recent evidence caused Osterrieder to doubt the 28-vehicle limit.

“The Community Development Office, upon conducting research and discovery of archived information, determined that the subject property was part of a joint review of a dredging project and reallocation of dock slips back in 1988,” he wrote via email, in response to an inquiry from the Post. “There was a building permit that was granted as part of that, which was appealed and then upheld by the Zoning Board of Appeals. It limited the number of slips on the property to 16 and the only use of the property was to be as a single-family home, with the dock slips. It was not even deemed a marina.

“Once this information was found, the original notice of violation was rescinded and the code officer issued a new letter on Sept. 15,” Osterrieder wrote.

The new letter was actually a “Notice of Decision,” by the town — a formal denial of a letter submitted by BR2, in which Forsley’s agent described marina-related uses he wanted to conduct on the property.

According to Forsley’s attorney, John Richardson, of the Brunswick firm Moncure & Barnicle, Forsley had contracted with Chris DiMillo, who’s family operates the DiMillo Marina in Portland, to revitalize the old Reid Marina. It appears that now, without some proven grandfathered use of the site as a marina subsequent to the 1988 slip allocation, the property may not be allowed additional boats, let alone cars.

The new notice carried with it a new 30-day window for filing an appeal. That deadline expires on Oct. 15.

“This office does not yet have any official position form the property owner on how they intend to proceed with this,” Osterrieder said.

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