Belfast residents are a step closer to seeing a Tractor Supply built on Route 3, after a long but civil joint City Council and Planning Board meeting and public hearing about the proposal Tuesday night at the Troy Howard Middle School.
Ultimately, the board and council decided that the developers of a large parcel of rural land on the western side of the city do not need to prepare a comprehensive economic and community impact assessment before moving forward. They also voted to allow Main-Land Development Consultants Inc., and other developers of the Bahre property to proceed to the next stage of the application process.
But even though the meeting seemed tranquil, at least by recent Belfast standards, it was not without its share of skeptics and critics. Most who spoke at the public hearing said that they are not opposed to a Tractor Supply, per se, but rather are confused or concerned about the master development plan that developers of the 84-acre parcel were mandated to submit to the city.
Adding a Tractor Supply store is the only specific part of the plan, which also includes vague proposals for a hotel, restaurant, housing, assisted living and smaller retail stores. Even if all of those proposals are built, the master plan still leaves 55 acres of woods and wetlands undeveloped.