Thursday, December 5, 2013
A proposal to build a park-and-ride lot for people who take the ferry to Frye Island has riled residents of nearby Raymond Cape.
The town of Frye Island wants to develop 50 parking spaces on a wooded 26-acre lot on Cape and Quarry Cove roads in Raymond, across from the ferry terminal, with an eye to expanding the lot to as many as 250 spaces in the future.
The lot would provide a place -- other than along Cape Road -- for cars to wait for spaces on the ferry, said Frye Island Town Manager Wayne Fournier. People could leave their cars in the lot if they didn't want to take them to Frye Island.
The island in Sebago Lake, which is about 1.5 square miles, is home to 505 cottages, Fournier said.
The town has submitted its proposal to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Raymond Planning Board, which held a public hearing on July 11 that drew dozens of residents.
"It's a very sensitive issue right now," said Bill Nofsker, who lives on Quarry Cove Road. Aside from people on Frye Island, he said, "I don't know of anybody who is in favor of it."
Nofsker and his neighbor, Russ Keith, said one of their main concerns is a proposed entrance to the lot from their private gravel road, which property owners pay to maintain.
Frye Island, which in 2005 bought the lot where it's proposing a parking lot, is one of those property owners.
Raymond Code Enforcement Officer Chris Hanson said the Planning Board discussed the possibility of requiring Frye Island to pave a section of Quarry Cove Road and bring it up to public road standards.
Residents are also taking issue with the lighting proposed for the parking lot and a long-term plan to expand the number of spaces to more than 200.
"Residents in this rural area expect to enjoy seeing stars in the night sky (without) light pollution from a Walmart-like parking lot," said a letter to the Planning Board signed by residents of nearby Wild Acres Road.
Fournier, Frye Island's town manager, said the main objective is to create a space for the cars that now are lined up along Cape Road. He said there are only about 15 spaces at the terminal and, on holiday weekends, there can be as many as 40 cars in the queue. It isn't safe for people who try to drive down the road, he said.
"We're the cause of it; we'd like to correct it," he said.
Nofsker, who used to live on Frye Island, said there's a different driving force for building the lot.
"The issue is the cost of the ferry service," he said. "They come up on Friday night, park the car along the road, lock it up."
Taking a car to Frye Island costs $35 at the ferry terminal. The rate is $25 for non-residents, in a package of at least five rides, and $15 for residents who buy them ahead of time.
Tickets for people without cars cost $5 to $15, depending on residency and whether they're purchased at the ferry terminal or beforehand.
Nofsker said he doesn't know the best solution for getting cars to stop lining up along Cape Road but he doesn't believe it's building the parking lot.
The Planning Board has asked Frye Island to do a traffic count to get a more accurate assessment of the problem. Fournier said he expects the study to be done in time for the Planning Board's meeting in September.
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at