Kittery Foreside Public Forum

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Forum

January 6th, 2014 7:30 P.M.

Where: Kittery Town Hall
In attendance: Over 49 residents

Town of Kittery Councilors:

Jeff Thomson, Russell White,
Jeff Brake, Frank Dennett,
Judy Spiller and Chuck Denault

Kittery Town Manager: Nancy Puff

Meeting began at 7:30 p.m.
Chairman Jeff Thomson started the meeting with a short presentation of slides of the FORESIDE and some ideas. The meeting was recording for playback both streaming and regular Channel 22.
Ideas were listed as:
Parking
Walkways
Lighting
Pedestrian and Bikes
Signage
John Paul Jones Parking
Walking maps
Badgers Island
Working with Portsmouth N.H. Chamber of Commerce
Low impact lighting and uniformed lighting

The following are questions and statements from the audience.

A question from a Kittery Business Owner,
What is Kittery Foreside or where does it begin?

Gerry Milroy, Kittery Town Planner, showed a large map of the area and highlighted some of the areas and stated that the Fore Side area is bigger than the downtown area. One of the entrances will be from the Sarah long bridge as they reshape the intersection at the beginning of the bridge.

Comments and Statements from those in attendance:
1.I think the Town needs to address the parking issues in the foreside, like having a   parking garage.
2.There should be no parking meters.
3.There should be available parking and affordable housing.
4.There should be a website for the foreside.
5.The Town needs to address two eye sores in Kittery.
a.The Blue Answer Phone (Formally known as Mary’s Store) next to Legion Pond.
      a. It’s in disrepair, loaded with old buses etc.
b.The old house next to TD ABNK north on the corner of State Rd and Love Lane.
6.More Town Signs
7.Help in maintaining INSPIRATION PARK next to Government St and State Rd. It was a volunteer donated park and it needs help since the principal party moved away from the area and has to travel to work on the park and has limited funds to keep it going.
8.Better walking paths near the water/ocean. The water is missing from the foreside
9.There is an apartment building blocking the Town Pier in the foreside and this pier can be enhanced as a focal point. There is disappointment there is no immediate access to the water here.
10.Parking issues, maybe have business help pay for parking with a fee of some sort.
11.End of Rice Ave is Town property. It should be a pocket park or green space. This area is right on the river and there is more we can do with it.
12.Snow removal in the area. It needs to be done better. Resident has lived here for 7 years on Government St. and it could be done better.
13.Snow removal on sidewalks. Walking paths on the water ways and exploit our local resources.
14.Possible rezoning around the John Paul Jones Park for businesses. There could be little store fronts which will add to the area.
15.Kittery needs to be mindful and respectful of the local residents living in the area. As more visitors come, there is more noise, more animals, more cars and the residents don’t want to move and would appreciate keeping them in mind with the progress.
16.Potential resource with Resort Maps, a local map highlighting the area.
17.Adding a trolley transportation system from Portsmouth to the Malls and the Foreside. The small bus worked well during the bridge construction.
18.Get more people involved, change street lights on the telephone poles to more sidewalk lights.
19.Look at what is going on in Portsmouth and make sure it does not happen here.
20.Thank you for the coffee shops but we need more parking.
21.Rice Ave. lot would be a great park. It is a close distance from the downtown, you can see the river traffic and fireworks and natural beauty of the estuary.
22.This turnout is impressive. Create a continuity of all the areas and do not disturb current structures.
23.Continuity of lights.
24.I have a dream, in 5 years; Kittery can turn waste land into cluster housing and a green space park and clean up the messes in town.
25.What is the status of the library, and what about a Ferry from Portsmouth to the Foreside?

Lee Perkins from the library added that the project is going forward and interest is having a single level handicapped accessible building and perhaps near the community center and they will have to make a decision when it comes time for the old rice building to make sure it is used for something that keeps the character. The old court house will be sold.

26. Kittery needs to turn a negative into a positive. Sponsor bicycle road races with numbering of the riders so people can know who to make complaints about when they ride in the road. While living in Paris France bicyclists and vehicles merged together.

Tom Emerson from the planning board suggested planning for housing and that no parking was needed if the visitors of the Foreside lived there. There will be a Planning Board meeting on the 23rd of the month. He also talked about the sewer components of the area and affordable housing.

27. More signage of the area. Many people and kids who were born here don’t even know that one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence lived here or who the John Paul Jones park was named after. History markers should be thought of even though there around $700.00 per sign.
28.Add more lamps/lights for the roads.
29.The railroad tracks could provide a pocket parking area if the owners were so inclined.
30.River Run Bookstore suggested that the trolleys run already and the Coach buses drop off in the morning at the shipyard. Plan on getting things done like housing plans in the next two years before it’s too late.
31.Let’s get the Rice Ave. Park going, kayaking, swimming etc.

Jeff Thomson suggested another meeting around the 3rd of February. He asked those in attendance to make sure you sign up you email addresses so that they could be notified. He also added that the site of the old York County Community Center is going to be a Yoga Studio and Graphic Arts location.

For more accurate information, please view the entire meeting on Channel 22 or at Town hall Streams. Here is the link to make it easier for you.

Click here to watch it on Town hall Streams.camera

 

The questions or statements from those in attendance from above were recorded at the event. They were required to give their names before asking or making their statements.