AUGUSTA —— The owners of The Copy Center in Winthrop are one step closer to having a new location just south of Memorial Circle, and property along Civic Center Drive might see some additional development in the coming months.

Both these items went before the Augusta Planning Board on Tuesday in public hearings.

The move by JODON LLC also will return a store that has been standing vacant for years to productive use.

Kevin McCarthy, part-owner of JODON and vice president of Copy Center Plus, said since the company opened its 10,000-square-foot main facility on U.S. Route 202 in Winthrop, it has had only a small office on Western Avenue for small projects and picking up or dropping off projects.

“It’s not really conducive to what we do,” he said at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting. “We would like to step it up a little, and we think this building is a good opportunity to do that.”

The Copy Center offers design, print and mail services for customers, including contracts with state government.

The plan calls for renovating the interior so it meets the needs of a copy shop, repaving the parking lot and putting new tiles in the dropped ceiling. The tanks and gas pumps have been removed from the site.

McCarthy and his brother Daniel McCarthy got the go-ahead from the Planning Board, with the extra requirement that its exterior lights be full cutoff lights that shine only downward.

They needed city approval for a conditional use because the former Capitol Mini Mart and Cumberland Farms store was considered a nonconforming use for the institutional/business/professional zone of the area, as would be the proposed Copy Center.

Augusta Development Director Matt Nazar said the conditional use permit could be granted because what the McCarthys are proposing is expected to affect the neighborhood and traffic less than the property’s earlier incarnation as a convenience store and gas station did.

The Planning Board agreed and granted the request.

When financing is finalized, renovation is expected to start in May and the facility is expected to be open in July.

The Planning Board also considered a zone change request on behalf of MJH LLC, which owns property along the Civic Center Drive corridor in the area of the Bond Brook Road intersection.

James Coffin, of Coffin Engineering and Surveying, who is acting as the agent for MJH, said his client plans to either sell it or develop it.

In recent months, the property just south of Gaywalk Street has been clear-cut and a for sale sign has been posted. MJH has secured a general permit and a stream crossing permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection so it can clear out the stumps.

Coffin said the property is in the rural river district and MJH is seeking a zone change to the Civic Center district, which allows commercial uses.

The board approved the rezoning request and said it will forward its recommendation to the Augusta City Council for discussion at its next available informational meeting. Then it would be scheduled for two readings before final action is taken, typically after the second reading.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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