Shawn McKinnon addresses the New Gloucester Planning Board on Tuesday night on a request for a 70-foot, T-shaped dock for Sabbathday Lake Shores. His wife, Cheryll, stands next to a mock-up of the dock plan proposed by developer Alan Hamilton. Ellie Fellers photo

 

NEW GLOUCESTER — The Planning Board on Tuesday heard from a dozen residents opposed to a 70-foot, T-shaped dock proposed by Sabbathday Lake Shores developer Alan Hamilton of Gray.

To get a sense of what it would look like, a group of lakeside property owners recently delineated the area using styrofoam noodles and other items to create a mock 70-foot dock that stretched from the shore and attached to a 35-foot wide dock sitting perpendicular to it.

When the Planning Board arrived to inspect the site last week, Chairman Don Libby canceled the visit because he wanted “an unbiased” look at the site without the mock-up.

Sabbathday Lake Shores developer Alan Hamilton of Gray addresses the New Gloucester Planning Board on Tuesday night, saying he will work with the board and neighbors regarding his request for a 70-foot, T-shaped dock. Ellie Fellers photo

Resident Tom Driscoll told the board he helped create the mock dock.

“I used my boat and wore waders to measure the depth of 6 feet from 70 feet from shore,” he said. “At 30 feet from shore the depth is 3 feet.”

Driscoll said Hamilton “advertised and promised the back-lot property owners of the subdivision located on the opposite side of the roadway a boat slip before Planning Board approval.”

The board voted 5-0 on April 2 to allow a dock at the seven-lot development, not a marina that would give all lot owners their own boat slips.

The vote followed a public hearing at which 20 residents urged the board not to amend its approval of the subdivision last year, which only allowed passive recreation, such as fishing and hiking, in the open space area.

Lori Fowler, whose family cottage has been on the lake since the 1800s, said her mission is to keep the lake clean, clear and pristine and peaceful.

“You’ve taken a beautiful piece of property and installed a fence,” she said. “The fence is not part of the character of the lake. It changes and no longer can you fish there or take photos. I am not opposed to a small dock.”

Shaun McKinnon said he was shocked by the size of the dock.

“How did you go from a small dock to 70 feet that’s twice the length needed?” he asked.

His wife, Cheryll McKinnon, said, “This funnel development with passive recreation at the beach allows from eight to 12 motorized watercraft on a passive recreation use beach.”

Patricia Morris said she went out in her kayak and measured the depth of the lake 70 feet from shore at 6 feet.

“I am disturbed by passive use that is passive aggressive in nature by this developer,” she said. “We have a vested interest in this gem of a lake.”

Paula Gauthier told the board she is not opposed to a dock, but two active streams cross at the beach area. A dock the size Hamilton proposes adds risks to that area from contaminants.

“When you have that much surface area, invasive plant species can develop that are not seen,” she said.

Ann Maurice stated simply: “This is too big. Our role is to make sure the character of the lake is preserved. Let’s do the right thing.”

Judy Wallace cited safety concerns with so many boats at a very busy beach area.

The board will visit the site again at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. The public is welcome but will not be allowed to speak. The board may view the site from a boat.

The board agreed there will be no public hearing after the visit. The board will review the request June 18 at a meeting scheduled to start at 7 p.m at the Meeting House in Lower Gloucester.


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