A rendering of the commercial development Daniel Catlin hopes to build at 435 Main St. in Damariscotta. Credit: Maia Zewert | Lincoln County News

Plans by a Portland developer to build three commercial buildings totaling more than 30,000 square feet on Damariscotta’s Main Street drew roughly 50 people to a public hearing Monday night at Great Salt Bay Community School.

Daniel Catlin, chief executive officer of Commercial Properties Inc., along with Andrew Sturgeon of Hoyle, Tanner & Associates Inc. and engineer Shawn Tobey fielded questions for about 90 minutes, the Lincoln County News reported Wednesday.

The group proposes to build three commercial buildings on 11 acres at 435 Main St. — a 22,000-square-foot-building for two commercial stores, a 5,525-square-foot building with three commercial spaces, and a 2,700-square-foot bank with a drive-through.

Damariscotta resident Amy Lalime, one of the circulators of a petition calling for a temporary ban on retail development in Damariscotta, said she is not against development, but is “very concerned” about how things look in town, a statement echoed by others in the audience.

“Personally, I’m very proud of the Damariscotta landscape, and I’m not opposed to building, but I think we need to do it responsibly and respectfully,” Dr. Melinda Gold, a resident and owner of Full Circle Direct Primary Care, said, as reported by the Lincoln County News.

Several members of the audience spoke in favor of the development, focusing on the impact it would have on the town’s tax base and the jobs it would create.

Town Manager Matt Lutkus said he doesn’t know what reduction property owners might see as a result of the development.

Sturgeon estimated that the development could result in “about $60,000” in tax revenue for the town, but reportedly said after the meeting the number is a “very rough estimate.”

Newcastle resident Jenny Mayher, an organizer with Our Town Damariscotta, the organization behind the passage of a 35,000-square-foot cap on commercial buildings in Damariscotta, asked Catlin to consider a development with mixed-use buildings.

A site visit by the board is scheduled for 7 a.m. on Oct. 2, according to the Lincoln County News.

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