By Jesse Scardina
February 12. 2015 9:57PM
Residents voice concern over condo project
KITTERY, Maine — Residents in town — mostly concentrated in the Kittery Foreside — strongly opposed a proposed development for Old Armory Way that would tear down a house built by a former Portsmouth Naval Shipyard carpenter and replace it with two large condominiums and an eight-slip boat marina and accompanying parking lot.
The public hearing Thursday night in front of the Kittery Planning Board brought more than 30 residents to the Town Hall to discuss the proposed development on 15 Old Armory Way that residents of the road say would decrease the quality of the neighborhood, remove important history of the area, affect the traffic and safety of the small road and set a dangerous precedent for the bustling Foreside.
The Planning Board voted 5-0 in favor of having the developer, Ken McDavitt, continue the preliminary application process, addressing concerns from the board and residents and reconvene within 90 days.
The largest concerns voiced by residents eluded to a precedent a development calling for two large condos consisting of three dwelling units, a six-vehicle parking lot and eight-boat marina would have on the mostly rehabilitated Foreside.
“We have an opportunity to preserve the sea, charming and historic nature and feel of (the Foreside),” Michael Landgarten, owner of Bob’s Clam Hut, Robert’s Maine Grill and Lil’s Cafe, wrote in a letter that was read by Old Armory Way resident Cathy Wolff. “Condo buildings and marinas like those on Badger’s Island are fine but to me not a good (decision) in this Foreside zone. I think a much better direction would be to encourage more reuse and updating of the charming structures that currently exist and give the area so much character and appeal. Otherwise I think the area could become more generic and lose its uniqueness.”