STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine — The town planning board unanimously voted Wednesday night to delay making a decision regarding a controversial proposed expansion for a local lobster and seafood wholesale business.
The hearing on Holly Wyman’s application to build a 40-by-60-square-foot outbuilding on her School Street property, which would be used for the HD & Sons Seafood business she owns with fiance David Rice, was continued to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Board members said during the hearing that they wanted more time to examine a large packet of materials that had been given to them that night by neighbors who had questions about the project. A public hearing drew more than 60 people to the town municipal building and lasted about an hour and a half.
Ed Bearor, attorney for Wyman and Rice, told the crowd that the development was small compared with many other proposed properties in town. He said that the traffic generated by the business would be no more than “a small subdivision” but would include a daily visit from a tractor-trailer during the busiest three months of the lobster season.
Some project opponents told the board that they were worried about increased traffic in their quiet neighborhood, the possibility of reduced property values, road damage and increased odors, as well as whether the business would fit harmoniously into the surrounding community.
“I love my neighborhood,” Kathy Goldner said. “This is all very distressing. We would like to grow old in this neighborhood. It’s a quiet, wonderful neighborhood.”
Stockton Springs resident Cynthia Wells offered an alternative viewpoint.
“I want to make sure the community and the planning board consider that there will be jobs for our local residents,” she said. “Secondly, there will be a tax benefit for the town.”
Bearor, who primarily spoke for Wyman and Rice, said that while he didn’t want to minimize the concerns residents expressed about the project, “I think it’s an exaggeration of the problem.”