This rendering shows a proposed restaurant and offices at Falmouth Shopping Center. Courtesy

FALMOUTH — Planners got their first look Tuesday at a proposal for a 30,000-square-foot restaurant and office building on the edge of the Falmouth Shopping Center on Route 1.

A sketch plan of restaurant and office space being proposed in Falmouth Center was presented to the Planning Board Tuesday. Courtesy

The commercial property being proposed by Archetype Architects of Portland would include restaurant space to be lease out on the first two floors, along with three floors for offices.  Katherine Detmer, an architect with Archetype, said final designs could change as tenants look into the property.

“Nothing is finalized and we are working with the core and shell of this,” Detmer said.

A sketch plan shows the project is set for the corner of Route 1 and Bucknam Road on the last undeveloped parcel in the shopping center, across from the Irving gas station.

Developer and engineer Steve Bushey with Gorrill Palmer said he hopes the project is approved in June or July.

Residential project vote postponed

The Planning Board also postponed a final vote on Meadow Winds, a 20-unit residential project, saying they want to look at a nearby wetland before granting final approval.

When postponing final approval for Meadow Winds, members of the board said they had questions about the size of a nearby wetland. If the wetlands are over 4,000 square feet, a town ordinance calls for a waiver to build. Developers argue that the wetland is under 4,000 feet, as it’d be split into two parcels once a road for the project is constructed.

The board will decide if a waiver – which would allow the project to continue as planned – is needed, or if planners can approve the development without one.

The board granted the project preliminary approval in February. The 20 units near 100 Gray Road will be split among 10 duplexes, with two bedrooms each. Each unit in the one-story building will encompass approximately 1,800 square feet of living space, a basement and two-car garage, with room for a terrace or porch. If approved, developers hope to break ground soon after.

About five residents at the Tuesday meeting objected again to the project, based on their belief it does not fit the town’s character or comprehensive plan, also saying it will bring too much traffic.

“This whole place needs business back here, not (duplexes) in the backyard,” resident Keith Noyes said.

The project was proposed in 2018 by developer and former town councilor Andrea Ferrante, who owns an office building and home on the lot, but never got off the ground. It was brought back in February by developer Mike Payson.

“Every time we look at the Comprehensive Plan we get a clearer distinction this is intended to be a commercial area and not residential,” resident Lee Hantchett said.

Resident Laurie Winslow was in support of the project and said a new neighborhood will “bring these businesses.”

“The opposition is more about additional traffic and development period. That’s my sense. I do not think under the ordinances we can turn this down,” Planning Board member Joel Kallich said. “It’s in conformance.” 

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