Stephanie Anderson, Matthew Grymek, Andrew Swayze and Timothy Thompson are vying for two seats on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council in the November election.

The seats are now held by  Gretchen Noonan and Nicole Boucher, who decided not to seek reelection.

The four candidates discussed various approaches to the town’s affordable housing shortage and how to improve the town’s relationship with small businesses with The Forecaster.

Housing diversity


“There’s a willingness” in Cape Elizabeth to use public land for more housing and that needs to be explored, Anderson said.

“We have some challenges by the fact that we don’t have a lot of developable land,” she said. “A lot of our land is open space and it’s under some sort of conservation easement. We do have some fairly large parcels which are potential places for some housing.”


She emphasized she would “never support housing being built at Fort Williams” as some people in town have suggested, but that “there are a couple of parcels (in town) that could be in play for that.”

She and Thompson are members of the Housing Diversity Study Committee, which next month will release the results of a resident survey and make housing recommendations to the council.

Thompson said the town should continue to look into a 22-acre plot at Gull Crest Fields as a potential housing site. A feasibility study this summer deemed building housing on the site possible but challenging.

“We need to study it further to see if it’s environmentally stable to build on,” he said. “We did some preliminary survey work on it … That’s our best chance so far.”


Swayze opposes Gull Crest as a site because “it’s not a great place to put affordable housing.”

“We could use affordable housing in the town center, help make the town center more dense,” he said. “This would also likely bring in smaller businesses who would be welcomed by people that are within walking distance.”


Both Swayze and Grymek point to the number of single-family lots in town and say providing a wider variety of housing options is a key to making Cape Elizabeth more affordable.

Grymek said the state “forced our hand” with its recent mandate that municipalities loosen zoning restrictions to promote more affordable housing, “which I think is great.”

“The town has to be proactive about it and not just (do) the bare minimum,” he said of the state mandate, LD 2003. “People who have been here for many years and just want to downsize and age in place, there’s not really many small residential opportunities for those seniors, and for young people trying to move in.”

Small businesses


In light of the town’s zoning compliance lawsuit, now in mediation, against The Lumbery hardware and lumber store, resident and business owners have cited at public meetings the difficulties small businesses have in working with the town and its planning process. The Forecaster asked the candidates how they would help the town improve its relationship with local businesses.

The council needs to review town zoning ordinances, which are “incredibly pedantic and nitpicky,” Swayze said.


“If we want to bring in small businesses and make the town center more vibrant, we’re going to have to do something about our rules, which are just too narrow,” he said.

Grymek said the zoning change process should be “more responsive” and faster, rather than “having it just go from committee to committee.”


Thompson said he’s spoken with business owners who “have found it very difficult to wade through the process.”

“I’d work on simplifying and improving our processes, streamlining our ordinance process, to make it more friendly for a business,” Thompson said.

Anderson also said business owners have told her the planning process needs to be improved.

“What I’m hearing is that it’s too cumbersome and too expensive and too time-consuming,” she said. “That is a consistent theme.”


Businesses should be able “to make reasonable business decisions without going through a huge rigmarole every time they want to do one little thing,” she said.

Anderson, 71 and retired, is a registered Republican. She was the Cumberland County District Attorney from 1990 to 2018. She is a member of the Cape Elizabeth Housing Diversity Study Committee.

Grymek, 44, is a registered Democrat. He is the manager of enrollment and student life for the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts.

Swayze, 46, is a registered Democrat. He is a DevOps engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thompson, 72, is a registered Republican. He works in insurance management and investments and is vice chairman of the Housing Diversity Study Committee. He was chairman of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Committee and a five-year member of the former School Building Committee.

Voting will take place at the Cape Elizabeth High School gymnasium from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7. For more information on voting and how to register to vote, go to the town’s website at

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