Causeway Marina to display boats off Route 11
By Dawn De Busk
NAPLES — Because Route 11 is such a major thoroughfare, most people have noticed that trees have been cleared from a section of land on the Naples end.
In the near future, a portion of the property will be used as a boat display area for the Causeway Marina.
The plan includes putting in storm-water retention areas — some of which have already been completed, planting vegetation and Arborvitae trees as buffer zones, and possibly wiring electricity to an existing utility pole for security lighting.
Causeway Marina owner Dan Allen and civil engineer Dustin Roma brought the plans to the Naples Planning Board during its Dec. 20 meeting.
“The purpose of that space is to locate inventory and display boats for sale along Route 11,” Roma said.
Basically, the Causeway Marina business owners were seeking permission from the board to clear stumps and maintain the grade of the terrain. The stump-clearing would allow crews to plant new vegetation.
The major site plan, which was approved by the board on Dec. 20, expands the gravel area from 1,500 to 3,800 square feet.
According to Roma, the entire property is 8½ acres with 270 feet of frontage on Route 302. However, Route 11 will be used as the entrance. The vast majority of the property is zoned for commercial use with the exception being a small section in the far corner, which is zoned rural and is not slated for any business activity, Roma said.
“In early November, we hired a land surveyor to flag the area property lines. Once flagged, we walked the site with a timber harvester (who) cut trees on the property,” he said.
According to Allen, there are no current plans for a building on the land — just boats.
The land will be used “to display new product along Route 11,” he said.
“We may ask (Central Maine Power) CMP to put a light in. At some point, we’ll want a sign but not until it is established,” Allen said, responding to questions from the planning board.
“We don’t know what we want yet, that is the true answer,” Allen said. “We’ll go slow and do things right.”
Some of the abutters spoke up, asking about the buffer zone.
“I would love to see some vegetation,” one neighbor said, adding that the construction phase has caused “a lot of noise.”
An excavator has been used to prepare the raw land for it future use.
“You have to break an egg to make an omelet,” Allen said.
“Once the boats are there, all the noise will quiet down,” he said.
Another abutter expressed concerns about oil and gasoline leaking into her well water.
“The beauty of boats versus like a car lot is the engines are contained within the boat. So, if there is a leak it goes into the boat,” Allen said, adding, “Environmental issues with boats are nonexistent.”
Allen said that prior to the moving earth and removing trees, he knocked on the doors of the abutters “and let them know what we were doing in case they had concerns.”
“I want to do it right. I don’t want to tick anybody off,” he said, adding that he has served on the Naples Planning Board and understands the position of abutters.
One neighbor said that although she liked and respected Allen, she was “crushed by the loss of large pine trees” on the lot.
Roma and Allen said that is why they were seeking the board’s approval to destump the area so that replanting could be done.
According to Roma, the buffer zone would include Arborvitae trees (an evergreen used specifically for its buffering abilities) and about 10 feet of grass before the gravel begins.
During the discussion, board member John Thompson said, “It’s mostly commercial. It’s clean and quiet.”