A Boothbay Harbor nonprofit that hopes to preserve public access to the town’s working waterfront announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement to purchase a motel and restaurant that had been eyed by a developer.

Paul Coulombe, on the 17th hole of his Boothbay Harbor Country Club.

Stewards of Boothbay Harbor said the agreement to purchase Cap’n Fish’s Waterfront Inn and marina on Atlantic Avenue has a closing date of Nov. 1 so that the business can remain open during the upcoming tourist season. Terms of the sale will be released at a later date, said Ken F. Fitch, the group’s president.

Last year, entrepreneur and developer Paul Coulombe had asked the town to rezone the east side of the harbor to pave the way for mostly upscale tourism-based development such as hotels, restaurants and boutique shops in an area where it has effectively been prohibited.

That interest caught the attention of Fitch’s group and others concerned that an influx of those types of commercial uses might harm the working waterfront.

“(The sale) will endeavor to maintain and enhance the traditional character of Boothbay Harbor and in particular, it shall pursue opportunities to protect working waterfront and expand public access to the water for the benefit of residents and visitors alike,” Stewards of Boothbay Harbor said in a statement issued Thursday.

Fitch said his group, which eventually will be renamed Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation, will spend the next nine months raising enough money – the amount was not released Thursday – to purchase the property.

More financial details of the purchase will be made public once the group’s board has had an opportunity to meet. The Boothbay Harbor Board of Selectmen is also scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday to discuss rezoning the east side of the town harbor. Any changes would have to be authorized by voters at Boothbay Harbor’s town meeting in May.

The rezoning ordinance is still under consideration by town officials, but the slow review process prompted Coulombe to withdraw his offer to purchase Cap’n Fish’s in October. Attempts to reach Coulombe Thursday night were unsuccessful.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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