Rockport Planning Board agenda includes animal therapy center

Pen Bay Medical Center seeks two-year extension on new physician’s building plans

Animal care business may return to former PAWS site
Posted:  Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 3:45pm

At its Feb. 27 scheduled meeting, the Rockport Planning Board will consider an extension of two years on the official site plan application by Pen Bay Medical Center to build a new physician’s building on the hospital’s existing campus. The request for the extension was submitted by Mark Johnson of Portland-based SMRT Architects and Engineers.

The board will also hear proposals for new local businesses including an animal therapy center built on the foundation of the former P.A.W.S. animal adoption center located at 146 Camden Street, and an application by a Rockport resident to operate a child daycare center from her residence.

On March 1, 2017, the Planning Board approved the application submitted by Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC) to construct a new, 20,888 square feet, the medical office building on its campus along Route 1.

Designed by SMRT Architects and Engineers, the structure is sited in an area of undeveloped woods with southerly slopes toward the ocean on the northwest corner of the 63-acre hospital parcel, just southwest of the Sussman House, on Glen Cove Drive.

According to Rockport zoning, the parcel is in the town’s Section 909 Hospital and Resort district.

Plans call for the building to contribute approximately 1,700 gallons per day of wastewater to the sewer system that runs to the City of Rockland.

Last year, the project’s engineers were pursuing permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (air license amendment and a Natural Resources Protection Act amendment), the Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Tier 2 Wetlands permit).

In other business:

An application filed at the Rockport Town Office on Feb. 5 seeks to construct a two-story building on the foundation of the demolished P.A.W.S. animal adoption center on Camden St. The application was filed by Allen Mitchell, President of McCormick and Assoiciates Inc., on behalf of the property owner, Joyce Mohr. 

“The first floor will be leased as an animal therapy business and the second floor will be used as an office by the owner’s spouse and set up as a future apartment,” wrote McCormick in a memo to the board. The building would be accessed via Route 1 (Commercial Street) from an entrance shared by the Camden Hospital for Animals at 6 Commercial Street.

McCormick said the process will involve recovering foundation walls, removing slab and recapping walls before starting construction. The desired timeline for the project is to begin this spring and be completed by the fall of 2019. Engineering work is currently being completed to address site work, highway entrance, sewer and Department of Environmental Protection Act issues.

The board will review a pre-application from Roiya Doyle to operate a home day care center for children from an existing building at 7 Winding Way.

Doyle expects the business would accommodate from six to 12 children and hours of operation would be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the possibility of an early drop-off time of 7:30 a.m. and a late pickup time of 5:30 p.m. State approval is also being sought for the business, which would use an existing driveway for parking.

According to a site review summary prepared by acting Town Planner Bill Najpauer, Ben Pratt has operated his automotive repair garage from 495 Rockland Street as under the home occupation usage for the past three years.

As business has grown, Pratt seeks to change the status of the shop to a tradesman operation. The garage currently has one or two employees at any time, and no additional building expansion is proposed. 

The Rockport Planning Board will meet Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. It will be streamed live at