Rockland planning board member resigns in wake of arts center approval

Posted April 02, 2014, at 5:32 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A member of the Rockland Planning Board resigned Wednesday, a day after the proposed downtown arts center was approved over his objections.

George Terrien submitted his resignation letter to Mayor Larry Pritchett.

“My decision follows last night’s meeting of the [Rockland Planning Board], though not resulting solely for any single action,” Terrien said.

He said he could not accept the planning board’s refusal to consult with the city attorney to have him clarify a written letter of advice to the panel.

“My resilience falls short of spanning the gap between complacency with the status quo, and what I know Rockland needs, could obtain, can afford, cannot afford to obtain, and, I suspect, does not yet want,” Terrien stated in the resignation letter.

He had argued that the city’s design law requires new buildings to have elements characteristic of the predominant architecture of structures on Main Street between Park and Lindsey streets constructed prior to 1941. Terrien said the 62-foot wall for the Center for Maine Contemporary Art on Winter Street does not meet that requirement because there is no other similar architecture on Main Street.

The majority of the board, however, ruled that the arts center met the city’s design ordinance.

Terrien was an alternate on the board, but he got to vote on the arts center project in the absence of a fifth member. His resignation leaves two vacancies.

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