UNITY, Maine — Unity officials will give further review to plans for a new Dunkin Donuts in the heart of town after neighbors appealed the development, saying it was rushed.
On Tuesday, the Unity Board of Selectmen will consider a petition to extend public comments on the proposal for two more months, ahead of a Unity Board of Appeals hearing scheduled for Nov. 16 at the town’s community center.
In September, the Unity Planning Board approved the application for a new standalone Dunkin Donuts to be built on Main Street with its entrance on Vickery Lane, a narrow dead-end road. But locals, including Kristin Mozes, whose house would neighbor the development, have cried foul about the process.
“I hope that the appeals board will uphold their sworn duty in following our town’s laws,” Mozes said. “A couple of people who are in favor of the project have been quick to characterize us as ‘ NIMBYs,’ or that we ‘just don’t like change,’ but that’s simply not the case here. We would have no room to complain about the project if it actually fit into our zoning laws.”
On Oct. 21, Mozes and her landlord Liz Dyer appealed the planning board’s approval for the Dunkin Donuts project.
Their attorney, Peter W. Drum of Damariscotta, wrote that the town planning board “committed multiple violations of Maine law” by disregarding requirements of the ordinance.
Mozes and others feel that planning board members ignored the town’s land-use ordinance and think town officials should have done more to inform neighbors about the proposal.
“I know they said the selectmen pushed this through, but the selectmen didn’t have any part in the process,” Penny Sampson, chair of the Unity Board of Selectmen said.
Dyer said she hopes the comment period will be extended “so that the community can have an opportunity to understand and consider the ramifications of this new construction.”
She said if people are allowed to comment the town can “have a fair and balanced consideration of this project.”