GOULDSBORO — Winter Harbor resident Mike Gerrish got the go-ahead from the Planning Board April 6 to erect a steel structure on Walters Road off Route 1, where he will repair commercial trucks and other heavy equipment.
The project was approved following a public hearing on the site plan for the 3-acre lot behind the town’s fire station 3 where Gerrish plans to relocate his enterprise from the Ashville Road.
Walters Road residents Skip and Susan Sprague, who operate an automotive repair business, S&S Enterprises in Winter Harbor, were among a few local property owners who attending the hearing, where Planning Board members voted 5-0 to approve Gerrish’s site plan. They expressed concern about the potential for greater noise, congestion and accumulated vehicles on the lot abutting their land. They noted an auto repair business already operates on the road, where vehicles have piled up, which they have lodged multiple complaints about to the town to no avail.
In attendance via Zoom, Gerrish reassured the Spragues that his garage would have “no more than five vehicles there at any time.”
The mechanic said the 40-by-60-foot structure will not have floor drains enabling motor vehicle fluids to penetrate the ground and affect water quality. He said any accumulated scrap metal will be hauled off. He also plans to reuse any captured antifreeze.
Responding to noise concerns, he said his shop will close late in the afternoon, saying, “I am getting older and I don’t want to work any later than 6 p.m.
Gerrish also invited the Spragues and others to visit his garage on the Ashville Road to see his operation for themselves. He anticipated the Walters Road building project, entailing a concrete slab and assembly of the steel structure, will take part of the summer to complete.
Responding to the Spragues’ complaint about another business, Gouldsboro Code Enforcement Officer Jim McLean said he had repeatedly spoken to that automotive shop proprietor and the property’s owner about their complaints, but the issues had not been remedied. He recommended that they take the matter up with the Board of Selectmen.
In other business, the Planning Board voted 6-0 to grant a “permit by necessity” to Corea property owners Chris and Christine Moritz to install an access road to one of their two lots off the Crowley Island Road.
The Moritzes already have access to one lot, where their seasonal home is located, but were unable to secure an easement across an abutting property owner’s driveway to reach the other lot, where a wood-frame structure has fallen into serious disrepair. The couple, however, were able to obtain an easement facilitating access across abutting property owners Joe and Stephanie Depasquale’s driveway.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, McLean reported that both Maine Department of Environmental Protection environmental specialists John Cullen and Dawn Hurd had recently reviewed the Moritzes’ case and concluded that the Depasquales’ granted easement was the best means to put in an access road and comply with state shorefront regulations under the circumstances. The CEO told the Moritzes, “Both of them [Cullen and Hurd] have said this is the best way to fill your needs.”
As part of their agenda, Planning Board members also heard from Kim’s Salon proprietor Kim Bridges about her plan to relocate her business from Route 1 in Hancock to the post office building in Corea village. Bridges said her enterprise would occupy about half of the Corea building’s ground floor. She was advised that her site plan application would be reviewed at a public hearing on May 4.