2018-08-03 / Letters

Don’t rezone for a miniature golf course

To the editor,

We are writing in opposition to a proposal to put a mini-golf course on the site of the former Route 1 rest stop. Arguments in favor of the proposal by Tim and Beth Fossett, who offered $115,000 for the site, as well as the town’s interim economic development director and the executive director of local chamber of commerce would have you believe that this project would be a boon to the community.

We disagree.

Mr. Fossett claims, “It will bring people who are down at the beach back into Kennebunk and to the shops and restaurants and other businesses along Main St and Route 1.”

That is speculative. If Mr. Fossett is correct, increased business downtown would lead to increased traffic that is already horrendous. It’s not unusual to have to wait through several cycles of lights to navigate through downtown.

Mr. Fossett has chosen to position this as a class issue by saying “This town is not all multi-millionaires. A lot is working families …”

He should know that many of us who are against his project are not multi-millionaires. We are seniors and retirees who live on fixed incomes who do not relish the noise and light pollution, traffic and crowds that a seven-day-a-week, 12-hour-a-day operation will bring to the community.

To Ms. Dolce, who reports, “Where is the nearest mini-golf course is a common question we get asked.” The answer is Wells.

Wells, with its miles of restaurants, shopping centers, amusements, hotels and motels. We have no interest in or desire to become North Wells.

This proposal requires a zoning change, as a mini-golf course is not a permitted use. According to the town engineer, creating a new contract zone for the Route 1 rest area does not meet the criteria for contract zoning. If that is the case, it should not be rezoned.

At the July 19 special meeting of the EDC, no one was certain exactly when amusement parks were banned from Kennebunk, or why.

It seems that one or more boards determined that those uses were inconsistent with the character and future vision they had for this community. Kennebunk is a wonderful place to live and work. We see no reason to change that vision.

Caren Epstein, Jolene Lemelin

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