WATERVILLE — The Planning Board is scheduled Tuesday night to discuss a proposed ordinance that aims to protect buildings, sites and objects seen as having historic significance or other value to the city.

The City Council voted 7-0 on Sept. 7 to refer the proposal to the Planning Board for study and recommendation.

Adoption of such an ordinance would offer a new perspective on land use and resource retention that preserves and adds to the character of the city, the council’s directive to the Planning Board says.

The board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Elm at 21 College Ave. It can be viewed online at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jsUekvniTh-nWu18QzSnkQ.

City Planner Ann Beverage said Monday the ordinance came out of recent discussions about a controversial proposal by BACAS to open an events center at Sacred Heart Church on Pleasant and Middle streets, which are in a residential zone.

BACAS and one of its partners, Jennifer Bergeron, ultimately withdrew the request to rezone the property but still have the property under contract and are considering a request by the Rev. Maureen Ausbrook to have the church be used for a soup kitchen and other purposes, including offering two apartments for the homeless.


The draft of the proposed ordinance calls for setting up a committee to look at historic buildings, sites or objects in the city and recommend what locations should be preserved. The council would make the final decision on what sites would be listed, according to Beverage.

The Planning Board will not vote on the matter Tuesday, she said. Board members will first look at a similar ordinance in South Portland as a guide in discussions.

“You’re determining what properties are important to people of Waterville,” Beverage said, “and delaying demolition to give people a chance to protect them, if possible, and you’re allowing certain new uses to go into those properties.”

In other matters Tuesday, the board could vote to approve a plan by Waterville Public Schools to build a 10,ooo-square-foot storage building at Waterville Junior High School at 100 West River Road.

The board is also expected to consider an informal preapplication by Dennis Brockway to build storage units on Webb Road. Brockway will reportedly ask the board recommend to the City Council that 4.86 acres on Webb Road be rezoned from Rural Residential to Contract Zoned District/Commercial-C to allow the storage units.

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