WATERVILLE — A 1,700-square-foot Taco Bell fast-food restaurant will be built at 345 Main St. after the City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to change the zone there to allow for the construction.

Councilors approved changing the zone from commercial-C to contract zoned commercial-A with the stipulation that building setbacks be 12 feet on either side of the restaurant and 15 feet to the front and rear. Commercial-C did not meet building setback requirements.

Council Chairman John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, voted against the change, as he did when councilors took a first vote on the proposal Feb. 2. O’Donnell said earlier this month that he knew councilors would approve the change, but he was voting against it to show support for comments resident Brad Sherwood made at a recent council meeting about out-of-state corporations putting fast-food eateries in small towns and doing little for them economically.

O’Donnell said he did not want to be considered unfriendly to business, but he thought the city had reached its limit with fast-food restaurants.

Councilor Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Verdad Real Estate Inc., Vertical Construction Management, based in Southlake, Texas, wants to raze the former Bank of America building at 345 Main St. and build a Taco Bell restaurant there.


In other matters Tuesday, councilors voted 6-0 to adopt a 180-day moratorium on considering applications or permits for people wanting to open medical marijuana-related businesses in the city, including storage places and dispensaries.

The moratorium will give the city time to consider appropriate places for such businesses and consider restrictions for them, members said.

The council recently voted to refer to the Planning Board a request for that board to recommend places where medical marijuana-related businesses should be and what restrictions there should be on them.

The Planning Board on Monday will hold a public hearing on the issue. The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center downtown.

Councilors on Tuesday also voted 6-0 to accept forfeited gift cards seized in a criminal investigation in which Waterville police took part. The cards will be given to the Police Department to support its operations.

The council also took the first of two needed votes to accept $5,350 from another forfeiture, also to be given to the Police Department.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17.

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