ROCKLAND, Maine ― After the owner of a downtown building proposed demolishing it for a parking lot, city councilors are considering an additional layer of government review that would require such proposals to go before the planning board.
The proposed ordinance comes less than a month after Crystal Darling — the owner of the building at the intersection of Main and Park streets that houses Park Street Grille among other businesses — filed a plan with the city to demolish part of the property and construct a parking lot on the corner site.
The 15,000-square-foot building was constructed in the 1950s. Under Darling’s proposal, the majority of the building, including where Park Street Grille is located, would be torn down. The portion where Frank’s Family Hair Care and Breakwater Design and Build Inc. currently operate would remain intact.
The $175,000 project would be completed by the end of 2021, according to an application submitted to the city last week.
Tenants in the building told the Courier Gazette they were unaware of demolition plans and have been scrambling to find an alternate location.
Rockland City Council will hear the proposed parking lot ordinance Wednesday. It would likely consider the measure for final approval in November.
The city’s ordinance would likely be retroactive, which means it would force Darling’s proposal to go before the planning board, according to City Manager Tom Luttrell. Planning board officials are already set to review the demolition proposal on Oct. 20.