Unity Kitchen restaurant, the blue building on the right, sits on Main Street in Unity. Selectmen Chair Penny Sampson said the Unity downtown is already commercial, citing the Unity Kitchen on Main Street as an example. Kristin Mozes, who lives on Vickery Lane — which intersects with Main Street where a proposed Dunkin’ will be sited — said the Dunkin’ should be in the retail area of Main Street. Briana Soukup/Portland Press Herald file

UNITY — A resident who claims that a proposed Dunkin’ restaurant violates the town’s land use ordinance plans to make her case at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.

Kristin Mozes and group of residents oppose the development and want the proposal sent back to the Planning Board even though, as the selectboard chair notes, the project has already received permits and conforms to guidelines.

Kristin and Steven Mozes are raising their 20-month old son, Connor, in Unity’s downtown district and want to see it remain a largely residential neighborhood. Kristin Mozes said the siting of the Dunkin’ restaurant in the district violates the town’s land use ordinance. Mozes plans on making a presentation to selectmen at their Oct. 20 meeting.

Selectmen Chair Penny Picard Sampson said the town did enough to let residents know about the proposed restaurant, including Facebook posts, information on the town’s website and newspaper advertisements. She previously said the project has all the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation permits and fits the downtown district’s guidelines.

“It’s important to note that we’re not against it entirely, just the location is inappropriate,” Mozes told the Morning Sentinel. “A compromise is there are plenty of lots in the retail district where it would be a great place for that business.”

First reported by the Bangor Daily News, approximately 50 Unity residents have signed a petition, started by Kristin Mozes, calling on the Planning Board to extend the public commenting period and opposing having a Dunkin’ franchise in Unity’s historic village. Mozes, a Vickery Lane resident, has lived there for three years.

Sampson said she has not yet seen the petition but is aware Mozes will be at the meeting. Sampson said she doesn’t need to see the petition before the meeting because she “knows what it’ll be about.”

In order to send the Dunkin’ proposal back to the Planning Board, a motion would have to be approved by the three-person selectboard. The Planning Board is made up of a group of seven volunteers appointed by selectmen. Planning Board Chairman Don Newell declined to comment for this story.

“The Planning Board is under no obligation to reconsider unless there has been an egregious error,” Sampson said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I have been in touch with Maine Municipal Association legal, I have been through the ordinance which takes precedence, Planning Board bylaws, and everything that Kristin Mozes has brought up has been addressed through the Planning Board.”

Sampson alluded to the existing businesses on Main Street including the Unity Kitchen, Unity House of Pizza, UniTel building and more saying the neighborhood is already fairly commercial. Mozes said the plan violates aspects of the ordinance with the plan’s parking lot, building’s colors and a lack of a design review committee.

The town’s current Dunkin’ franchise is located within the Depot Country Store on Unity’s Depot Street. The new proposal would give Dunkin’ its own building. Norridgewock resident Colleen Bailey is looking to build a 2,604-square-foot restaurant with a two-lane drive-thru and 18 parking spaces. Traffic to and from the store would go through Vickery Lane, which Mozes said is best suited for pedestrians.

“It’s a very residential neighborhood. Neighbors know each other here,” Mozes said. “It’s kind of shocking that they want to put it there, mostly because we have a land use ordinance in place that it clearly violates, many, many sections of.”

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