March 18, 2019
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Car dealer plans to turn old state police barracks in Orono into sales lot

BDN File | BDN
BDN File | BDN
Patrol cars are lined up along the fence outside the former Orono Troop E Maine State Police barracks, April 24, 2009.

ORONO, Maine — An area car dealership has purchased the old Maine State Police barracks on Main Street and wants to change it into a used car lot.

Planners will consider a 13-vehicle sales business site plan submitted by Van Syckle Inc. at their 7 p.m. Wednesday meeting, Code Enforcement Officer Bill Murphy said Tuesday.

“They originally planned to have a vehicle prep center, meaning they bring the vehicles to Orono to prep them for resale. Now they’re applying to have a limited number of vehicle sales,” Murphy said.

“It was not a change of use when it was a prep area because the state police had a garage to do that,” he added. “Since they want to have car sales, that does require a site plan review.”

Maine State Police Troop E moved into a new home near Bangor International Airport in January 2014, vacating the Orono space after decades of use. The state subsequently sold the property to Van Syckle, Murphy said. He did not know the selling price. A message sent to state police seeking the price was not immediately returned.

The news that 240 Main St. might become a car dealership apparently upset some residents, who sent out an email alerting their neighbors to attend the meeting.

“We are Orono residents who urge the Planning Board to oppose the site plan as submitted and encourage site owners to work with those who live nearby in a collaborative way to ensure the site is developed in keeping with the character of the town and neighborhood,” the unsigned email, which was forwarded to the Bangor Daily News, states.

Murphy said public meetings are held to provide residents a way to voice their opinions. He said he had not heard about the email.

“We want the public informed and in attendance to voice any concerns they have or any support,” the code enforcement officer said.

He reminded residents that the planning board is bound by the town ordinance and cannot reject a project just because it is not popular.

During the meeting, planners also will review an eight-lot subdivision on Union Street planned by the owner of M & M Truck Sales Inc., consider two land-use ordinance amendments covering self-storage facilities and definitions and districts for travelers’ lodging, as well as work on other land-use updates.


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