BELGRADE — The Planning Board wants some questions answered before it will approve a permit to tear down part of a former marina building on Mill Stream.

The Maine Lakes Resource Center has submitted a commercial development application to the board to raze a section of the building at 171 Main St. and replace it with a grassy area that will allow access to public docks.

The proposal also calls for building a wall to enclose the exposed rear of the remaining building, which houses the Belgrade Lakes post office, and grade and stabilize exposed soil temporarily until permanent measures can take place in the spring.

Peter Rushton, chairman of the Planning Board, said more information is needed, including whether archeological questions have been answered and the erosion control is adequate, before the application for a permit can be considered.

The commercial development application says Arthur Spiess of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission “has confirmed that there are no identified archeological sites in the vicinity of this project.”

Rushton said an email from Spiess, however, “was insufficient to totally rule out that question” and the board wants a followup.” Earle Shettleworth Jr., director of the commission, said Friday a letter was sent to the Lake Resource Center’s engineering firm that says there is no historic property affected by the project.

“From our perspective the matter has been totally resolved,” Shettleworth said.

Spiess said a standard project review for an archeological site was conducted that involved checking records for Native American and historic archeological sites and maps from the 1860s and 1880s.

Longtime Belgrade resident William Pulsifer said in the 1800s an excelsior mill, sawmill and spool mill were powered by the Belgrade Lakes dam at the Long Pond mouth of Mill Stream, across Main Street from the building. The burned down years ago. The mouth of the stream, which connects Long and Great ponds, is about a quarter mile from the building.

Richard Baker, a Planning Board member, said he has questions about the plan’s temporary stabilizing erosion control.

“They need to provide more information beyond temporary erosion control,” Baker said. “That’s fine in winter, but what happens in the spring? For me to give approval on the project, I need something more permanent.”

Rushton said the applicant presented a project overview at a public hearing Wednesday night.

“The next step in the process is to go to the official review of the application, where we will make a decision,” he said. The board’s next meeting is Jan. 5.

The project description prepared by Thayer Engineering Company estimates the bulk of the $20,000 construction project would be completed in January.

Opponents of tearing down part of the marina said this week the project appears unstoppable.

Jan Partridge, owner of Balloons & Things, across the street from the building, circulated a petition over the summer to save the building. Partridge presented the petition to the select board in October with 100 signatures. She attended Wednesday’s meeting and said opponents of the marina demolition want to keep their village intact.

“I think they’re going to do what they want to do, but I’m still concerned about it,” Partridge said. “But that’s the way it is. It’s private property.”

The garage-like portion to be removed was most recently home to a gift shop. The remaining portion of the building, connected by a small breezeway, will continue to house the post office.

Kathi Wall, the resource center’s executive director, said the vacant lot will become grassy space that will allow access to public docks on the stream, which opened in July, and provide a view of the stream from Main Street, which is also Route 27. The same parking spaces will remain, she said.

She also said and space behind the post office could be renovated for retail space.

Docks behind the resource center on Mill Stream and the marina were opened to the public in July.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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