New business planned for Standish

The face of Standish village may soon change if approvals are given for a new business on Route 25.

Standish entrepreneur Dana Lampron plans to build a 12-bay gas station and convenience store on the site of a Cape Cod dwelling facing Route 25, in front of the Colonial Marketplace. Lampron presented his preliminary sketches and plans at a Planning Board meeting last month.

When contacted about the station Lampron said, “I haven’t done anything for the last seven years, but my kids are getting older, and it was time to get back into business. I sold my other station about two miles from Colonial and had a five-year non-compete.”

Plans call for a 40-by-72-foot canopy covering six pump stations where up to 12 customers can pump gas at the same time. There will be a convenience store and office at the rear of the site. Traffic can enter from Route 25 or the shopping center side by a connecting driveway.

“The station is hooked to the mall to accommodate traffic flow,” Lampron said. “I am concerned about the traffic stacking up on Route 25 and this should help with that issue. I am not looking for any special considerations. This is a permitted use in a permitted area. The house in front will be moved to another site, and not ripped down.”

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Kevin Gagnon, the owner of Colonial Marketplace said, “My goal since day one has been to provide one-stop shopping in Standish village. The growth has been centered on one area. I believe every town should do this to avoid the strip shopping that we see in other towns. Dana Lampron had to sell me on this project, since I am so protective of Colonial Marketplace, and it took a year and a half to complete the purchase and sale of the property. I do believe that this adds to the one-stop shopping theme, and fits the overall plan for the shopping area.”

About ten people turned out at the planning session to see how the proposed business would impact the historic section known as Standish center.

Eleanor Dudek, a neighbor and member of the Standish comprehensive plan committee attended the meeting and voiced some concern, saying, “We need to do a traffic study on this area. The traffic now backs up to Gorham during the commuting times. There are some wetlands there that feed drain water southeast through the area to the north branch of the Little River. Eventually that flows to the Presumpscot River. The access road goes through the wetlands there. Also, in our last comp plan we say that this area should keep its rural character. Is this the face we want on the village?”

“Many of the people I spoke with are really concerned about the size of this project. Just the size of the canopy on that lot will change the character of Route 25 in this area,” finished Dudek.

David Thomas, also a member of the comprehensive plan committee, noted his concern over the traffic patterns at the site. Thomas wondered whether a turn lane would need to be added to the entrance from Route 25.

“Windham is looking at a turn lane where the new North Windham Shopping Center is located. They didn’t see the problems before, and the traffic for the (Maine) Leaf & Bean is so heavy that they might have to change the access. I’d rather not see us go back to this project to change something after it is finished,” said Thomas.

“The meeting went well, I thought. The Historic Society had some reservations about this not being in keeping with their vision for Standish center. I guess it is not over till it is over though. I did buy this knowing that it is an approved use,” Lampron said.

The next scheduled meeting of the Standish Planning Board is Monday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers.


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