Planning Board awaits peer-reviewed traffic study before next meetings with proposed Rockland nursing facility

Wed, 03/31/2021 - 7:00pm

ROCKLAND — Principal partners for the proposed Breakwater Commons on Cranberry Isles (off of Old County Road) return before the Rockland Planning Board Tuesday, April 6, for further review of their 96-bed long-term care facility licensed for nursing care.

If the project meets Planning Board approval, the 69,356 square-foot facility, placed on approximately 21 acres of land (912,582 square foot), would replace Rockland’s Knox Center. At an estimated construction cost of $19,500,000, it would also be the first all-private bedroom nursing facility in the state of Maine, and one of only a few in the country, according to Daniel McGuire, a business partner of Sandy River Company’s managing partner Michael Tyler.

This bed distinction relates to the project’s promotion of advancements in air quality and the ability to quarantine infection within modern buildings.

McGuire and Tyler were among several of the project’s principal entities to attend the Planning Board’s March 16 meeting. Those entities are Sandy River Company, North Country Associates, and the land owner, Rockland Land, LLC.

With a peer-reviewed traffic study still underway and Department of Environmental Protection permit yet to come, no Planning Board votes occurred at the March meeting. Once the peer review is ready, the Planning Board will compare the two.

“You [representatives of the proposal] are talking about a driveway here,” said Planning Board Chair Eric Laustsen. “Maybe the peer review will say that you need a roadway.”

Once the study is completed, the Board will hold another meeting for the study, and to finalize some minor missing details, before scheduling a public hearing. 

During the March 16’s hour-long discussion of the plan, technicalities within the proposal were reviewed.


An easement contract is in place with the Barbour Family, whose property abuts the proposed parcel, for 800 feet of driveway that borders both parcels and would be used for public access to Breakwater Commons. 

The existing drive will be a gated emergency access route that can also be used as a walking path.

Stormwater runoff

After hearing complaints of runoff flowing down the hill to the Pen Bay Acres neighborhood below, Michael Sabatini of Landmark Corporation, the engineering firm hired for the project, spoke to the Planning Board of a stringent stormwater requirements.

For Breakwater Commons, a system is proposed for the attenuation of stormwater (slowing down the runoff) by creating a flatter, longer stormwater path as it flows downhill. Along with that, drip-edge filters will be installed so that all of the roof runoff falls off of the roof into crushed stone that’s very deep and has a certain amount of volume. Then it goes through a soil filter media and into retention basins.

Noise and lights

The lighting is to be Night Sky Compliant.

Mechanical boxes on the roofs will be shielded for visual and noise reduction. Per a noise study, any noise leaving at the property line is no more than 45 decibels, which is a nighttime noise threshold, according to Sabatini.


Rockland Planning Board meetings are held at 5:15 p.m., in City Hall Chambers.