WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve final plans for a 28,654-square-foot retail strip mall at 470 Kennedy Memorial Drive at the site of the former Weathervane restaurant and Lucien’s Car Wash.

The mall could include retail and restaurant businesses and may in the future include a professional office, according to representatives of Marden’s Surplus & Salvage, which is proposing the development as KMD Development LLC.

Steve Govoni, an engineer for Wentworth Partners & Associates Inc. of Skowhegan, presented plans for the mall, which the board reviewed under the city’s site plan review and subdivision review ordinance. Conditions of approval include that a traffic pattern for the site be approved via letter from the state Department of Transportation.

Govoni said the developer would eliminate existing road entrances along Kennedy Memorial Drive to the site and all access to the property will be through Marden’s entryway and off-road. Most utilities, including those related to domestic water, fire, electrical and communications, exist on site. The development would use natural gas and Summit Natural Gas is interested in connecting to the site, according to Govoni.

Planning Board member Tom Nale asked when the mall would be built, and Govoni said as soon as a nationally-recognized anchor tenant is signed on.

“We’d love to start in April,” he said. “That would be our goal.”

Planning Board member Bruce White said the design of the mall looks nice. Board member Mark Champagne said he thinks the mall is a good use for the site. Chairman Paul Lussier concurred.

“I’ve got to say, the empty lot looks better than the vacant building,” he said. “Certainly this new building will look much better.”

White made a motion to approve findings of fact for the plans and Champagne seconded the motion.

Marden’s co-owner John Marden said recently that a couple of different businesses are interested in leasing space in the mall but he could not reveal their identities until contracts are signed. Marden’s owns both the former Weathervane and Lucien’s lots, which are near the northwest corner of the Marden’s store parking lot right off exit 127 of Interstate 95.

Marden and his brother, Ham, bought the former car wash several years ago, then leased it for about two years to a business that cut wood and trees and sold Christmas trees on the lot.

The Weathervane closed in January 2015, laying off 25 people. It had opened in 1986 and was one of four Weathervanes that closed because of economic conditions, officials from Kittery-based Weathervane Seafoods said at the time. The Silent Woman restaurant was at the site before it became the Weathervane.

In other matters Monday, representatives of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union presented an informal pre-application for a 4,000-square-foot credit union branch at 94 Silver St. New Dimensions also is requesting that the property be rezoned from Residential-D to the Transitional Zone to allow for the branch construction. The Planning Board Monday voted 7-0 to recommend to the City Council that the property be rezoned to the Transitional Zone after board member Jessica Laliberte made a motion to do so and her motion was seconded by board member Lauren LePage.

The City Council would make the final decision on rezoning, according to City Planner Ann Beverage. She said the council must take two votes on the recommendation. New Dimensions would return to the Planning Board when plans are ready.

Also Monday, the board voted unanimously to approve revisions to a previously-approved plan for the expansion of Penny Hill Park at 295 Kennedy Memorial Drive proposed by 295 KMD, LLC. Nale made a motion to approve and White seconded his motion.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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