Wiscasset talks restaurant and former primary school

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 1:30pm

The Wiscasset Planning Board scheduled a site walk for the restaurant planned at the former Simpson’s fish market on Dec. 16 at noon, followed by a public hearing Dec. 23.

Michael Collins and Dan Dyer plan to open the restaurant at 690 Bath Road. The board ruled they turned in a complete application, and the site walk could proceed.

Stephen Barndollar, of the former Wiscasset Primary School’s current owner, JSJ Holdings, spoke of his company’s wish to make rental housing there, either as workforce housing or senior independent housing. The plan would include turning the school building into 40 rental units and subdividing the rest of the property to allow for condos and a mixed use of commercial and business rental or sales. However, according to Chair Karl Olson, the town’s ordinance does not permit such use of a property in the rural zone. The housing units would be of higher density than permitted. He told the group to consider going to the town manager and requesting a new ordinance to allow for redevelopment of the property.

Other things JSJ Holdings considered were houses on the hillside, a small solar farm, and building properties to the Passivhaus standard – a high level of energy efficiency that focuses on building orientation, insulation, and green energy use, making the houses essentially net zero carbon, Barndollar said.

The property has been on the market for some time, but Barndollar said he was taking the property off the market in anticipation of developing the project.