Ware-Butler Building Supply wants to use the former church rectory at 74 Pleasant St. for business offices, a move that would require rezoning by Waterville officials. Scott Monroe/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — Ware-Butler Building Supply will be able to put offices at the former Sacred Heart Church rectory at 74 Pleasant St. if the City Council takes a final vote Tuesday to change the property’s zoning.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave., with a budget workshop planned for 6 p.m. to discuss proposed assessing, city clerk, planning, finance and administration budgets.

The council voted 5-2 on April 4, in a first vote, to change the zoning for 74 Pleasant St. from a residential classification to commercial, allowing Ware-Butler to put offices at the former rectory.

Councilors Flavia DeBrito, D-Ward 2, and Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, have voted against the rezoning. The former rectory is located in Francke’s ward, where some neighbors have raised concerns about the overall vision for the area and said the city should develop an ordinance for the neighborhood, instead of rezoning it piecemeal.

Francke has said the rezoning would be illegal and wrong. Commercial operations are not allowed in a residential zone, he said. DeBrito described the move as spot zoning.

Alan Orcutt, Ware-Butler’s chief operating officer, said the company has 15 locations, and Waterville is the headquarters for its retail division. It has six to eight employees at an office over the North Street business, about 16 at the former Sacred Heart Church office and would have about six employees at the former rectory.


Ware-Butler officials said they are considering possible uses for the former church, and have discussed the potential for turning it into housing.

In other matters Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to consider allowing part of Silver Street and Merchant’s Way downtown to be closed to traffic through October to allow restaurants to host outdoor dining there. The city approved those closures during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to allow restaurants to have added outdoor space for diners.

Part of Common Street was also closed to allow for outdoor dining there, but the city is not recommending it this year because of increased traffic due to recent downtown traffic pattern changes, according to a memo to the mayor and council from City Clerk Patti Dubois.

Councilors are also expected to consider referring to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a proposal to amend the zoning ordinance to allow the parking stall length and setback to be changed for the proposed Head of Falls Village housing project off Temple and Front streets.

The council is also scheduled to consider approving three hangar leases at Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport, and zoning changes for two locations on Airport Road to allow for solar arrays there. Rezoning undeveloped parts of 20 and 30 Airport Road from Commercial-C to Airport Industrial would allow Gaunce Investments LLC to build the solar arrays, which would provide power for Central Maine Motors Auto Group.

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