SCARBOROUGH — A controversial proposal for a new public park on Scarborough Beach has received the traffic permit it needs from the state Department of Transportation.

Black Point Resource Management received its traffic movement permit Nov. 15, said Jay Chace, Scarborough’s assistant town planner.

The permit is considered a significant step forward in the company’s plan to develop Black Point Park on a 62-acre parcel owned by the Sprague Corp.

The developers are still seeking a site location permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Black Point Park is also under review by the town’s Planning Board, which is being asked to approve a site plan permit for the development off Black Point Road.

Opponents fear the park would permanently alter the character of what is primarily an upscale, oceanfront neighborhood by generating more traffic and pollution and by harming habitat of the piping plover and the cottontail rabbit.

Black Point Park would have enough parking area to accommodate 370 vehicles. The beachfront park would have enough space to accommodate 900 people at high tide.

The traffic movement permit calls for the developer to pay an impact fee of more than $75,000 to the town. Chace said the money would go toward traffic improvements at Dunstan Corner, Payne Road and the Oak Hill intersection along Route 1.

Also, a section of Black Point Road near the park entrance would have to be widened to accommodate vehicles turning left.

Chace said it could be several more months before the DEP permit is decided. He said the Planning Board’s policy has been not to sign off on a project unless it has all the mandatory state and federal permits.

The Planning Board has held five meetings on the project, including a site walk Oct. 3 at the property, which borders Scarborough Beach State Park.

Chace said the Planning Board has scheduled a final public hearing on the proposal for Jan. 9.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]