FARMINGDALE — A strip of property along Maine Avenue would have to be re-zoned by the state before the town can put a proposed Kennebec River Rail Trail parking lot and rest area there.

Code Enforcement Officer Bob St. Pierre told selectmen Wednesday that state-mandated shoreland zoning regulations apply to both the former Harrison property, which the town now owns, and the property next to it, which the town wants to buy.

Since both lots are in the limited commercial zone, the non-vegetated area of the two lots is limited to 20 percent of the total area, he said.

If the town wants to develop more parking spaces on the land, then the board must make a request through the State Planning Office’s Shoreland Zoning Division to re-zone the property from limited commercial to general development. That would permit between 18 and 21 parking spaces on the former Harrison lot and between nine and 12 parking spaces on the Goldych lot next to it, according to St. Pierre.

The Goldych property at 303 Maine Ave. is up for sale, with an asking price in December of $39,900.

In 2011, the town took ownership of the Harrison property next door and paid Sargent Corp. to demolish it while the southern end of U.S. Route 201 in town was being reconstructed.

The rail trail runs is sandwiched by the Kennebec River on the east side and U.S. 201 on the west side.

If the Goldych land purchase goes through, the town would own the property and give the Friends of the Kennebec River Rail Trail and the Board of Supervisors a conservation easement so they can build a storage shed, set up a picnic table and install a portable toilet at the site.

At the end of 2011, the Farmingdale Commons Committee had about $40,000 in pledged donations and estimated that it would cost another $17,000 to pay for the property and to complete the project.

The Commons Committee was formed several years ago in hopes of buying the Dragon Products Co. property on Pit Street, off James Street and Maine Avenue, to use as an access spot for the rail trail and recreation area.

Town officials were anticipating losing rail trail parking spaces and were looking for another spot for trail users to park.

That plan eventually didn’t materialize because of cost and environmental issues.


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