Waterford waits for more information on Seaside

Waterford - Planning Director Dennis Goderre has requested additional materials from developer Mark Steiner to aid the Planning and Zoning Commission in its review of Steiner's proposal to amend the zoning regulations for the Seaside Preservation District.

Goderre said Steiner has not yet replied to the May 8 letter, which requests that Steiner give the town an engineering report he had commissioned of historic buildings on the property. The buildings formerly contained the Seaside Regional Center for the developmentally disabled.

Submitting the report and other materials is "up to the applicant," as opposed to being a strict requirement for consideration of the amendments, according to Goderre.

The report served as the basis of the State Historic Preservation Office's conclusion that Steiner may tear down the four buildings, two of which were designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert.

"This report may have a direct bearing on the language proposed with respect to any modification, reconstruction or demolition of all or portions of the historic structures," Goderre wrote in the letter.

Goderre pointed out Monday that zoning for Seaside requires the developer to follow the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, a requirement he said made the engineering report all the more pertinent.

In addition to the report, Goderre mentioned in the letter other materials he requested from landscape architect Michael Cegan during a May 2 telephone conversation. Cegan's firm, Richter & Cegan Inc., has worked with Steiner throughout the process of planning development for Seaside.

The additional materials included a site master plan with narrative, and revised amendment proposal that addresses staff comments.

No master plan for development of Seaside is on file at Town Hall, according to Town Clerk Robert Nye. Steiner last presented a plan in 2012 during a public pre-application meeting, but did not leave materials for retention as records.

In a May 1 memorandum of staff comments addressed to Steiner, Goderre wrote that a section of the current regulations implies that no demolition of historic structures would be allowed.

Steiner has stated recently that he may reconstruct some buildings, which would involve demolishing them first.

The memo also requests more details about Steiner's proposed addition of an event and banquet facility to the site, requests a preliminary traffic analysis and asks for more information about what it would mean to add an inn.

"An 'inn' is proposed. The regulations do not have such a definition. Are there other uses associated with the 'inn' that are not included as accessory?" the memo asks.

Steiner, the state's preferred developer for the $8 million property at Seaside, submitted the proposed the zoning changes last month, after more than a year of inactivity with Seaside development. The changes would allow construction of an inn, expand use of a meeting facility to include events and banquets, and privatize roads inside the proposed condo and resort development.

The commission has until July 1 to hold a public hearing on the proposal, but the hearing could be delayed if Steiner applies for an extension.

Steiner and Cegan did not respond to calls for comment Monday.


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