Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough was sold to developers last September. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

SCARBOROUGH — Developers who plan to redevelop the former Beech Ridge Motor Speedway met with the Scarborough Planning Board to discuss the site on Feb. 22.

They are proposing to to redevelop the property at 70 Holmes Road  and build massive warehouse spaces, although not all are in favor.

However, Chair Rachel Hendrickson said, “at this meeting we aren’t dealing with the warehouse, with the size of the warehouse, this is taking a look at the site itself and not at this point what would go on that site.”

At the Planning Board meeting, the Scarborough Property Development, LLC discussed the site inventory and analysis reviews, which is the first of three steps in the Planned Development process. This process will then be followed by a Master Plan and then a Formal Site Plan application. Both processes are subject to review by the Planning Board before moving forward.

This is the second time the project has come before the board. During the previous meeting, which was held in November, the Planning Board requested certain issues be addressed and asked developers to outline potential plans for redevelopment of the property. These issues included environmental conditions on site, dealing with remains of former racers and their families, and potential building uses.

Karen Martin, president and executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp, previously stated that there is a big demand for warehouse space in Southern Maine and the former Beech Ridge location is perfect for a warehouse.


But a number of local residents aren’t in favor of the project. There have been a number of complaints about the proposal, including from those who have family buried at the former Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Several local residents shared their concerns at the Feb. 22 meeting or sent in letters to the board.

Some residents have also expressed their concern about the potential for an increase in traffic caused by trucks coming and going each day if the warehouses are built. Hendrickson made a comment about traffic and how the MDOT is working to fix the increase in traffic.

“If you folks want to take a look at the traffic movement permit that was granted at the crossroads and it was an agreement between the crossroads, the Town of Scarborough and MDOT,” said Hendrickson. “There are some proposals in there for improving traffic flow along Payne Road and Holmes Road. We won’t know how that improvement necessarily is until we see more about the amount of traffic that might be coming from this development but there has been some steps undertaken by the town and MDOT to ease some of the traffic problems out in that area.”

The owner of the former speedway announced in September that he had reached a deal to sell the auto racing track and the adjacent property. Eastern Retail Properties in Massachusetts is looking to turn the former track into warehouse space. A proposal for either a single 700,000-square-foot warehouse space or two warehouses, one measuring at 240,000 square feet and the second at 300,000 square feet, was part of the initial plan that was presented to the board.

Hendrickson said that the developer met the criteria the board asked of them at the last meeting. The developer will next bring forward a Master Plan and a site plan review. She urged residents to remain involved and to ask questions during the following meetings.

“Our job as the Planning Board is to enforce the ordinances of the town and ensure that the  developer meets all of them and that is the roll that we will be playing consistently,” said Hendrickson. “Please hold us to that. Come back as you have questions and as this goes forward.”

The date for presenting the Master Plan has not yet been set.

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