The Planning Board has given approval for additional floats at Thurston's Lobster Pound and a ramp and additional floats for Woof Wagon LLC. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Board approves changes to Thurston’s Lobster Pound pier  

TREMONT — The Planning Board OK’d a request on March 22 made by Thurston’s Lobster Pound owners Michael and Elizabeth Radcliffe to make alterations to their marina on Thurston Road in Bernard. 

“This is all new to us. We’ve never had a marina project come before us, so bear with us here,” said Planning Board Chair Mark Good. 

For several years, the Radcliffe’s have been negotiating with the town about the position of their floats for two of their establishments. Last year, they submitted two Tier 3 Natural Resources Protection Act permit applications, required to be filed separately for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to add 14 floats to their operation. 

One NRPA permit application submitted under the Radcliffe’s commercial fishing establishment, Woof Wagon LLC, is for its marina on the north side of the property that abuts the town wharf. 

An additional NRPA permit application for their floats at FW Thurston Co., which buys and sells lobsters and operates Thurston’s Lobster Pound on the south side of the property beside the town wharf, was also submitted. 

Two of the town’s floats currently sit on property that is technically owned by the state and managed by the Submerged Lands Division of the Bureau of Parks and Lands. The town and FW Thurston Co. each hold leases, allowing placement of the floats with Submerged Lands. 

Early last month, Radcliffe’s applications were presented to the Planning Board by Thurston’s Lobster Pound Manager Dereck LaPointe for FW Thurston Co. and Woof Wagon LLC float system proposals. The project requests include adding more floats to Thurston’s Lobster Pound, as well as a ramp and additional floats to Woof Wagon LLC. It aims to provide additional mooring space for fishermen, easier access for boats to pull up at Thurston’s Lobster Pound and more slip space. 

The Woof Wagon application includes the construction of a 12-by-6-foot ramp entrance, a 4-by-50-foot elevated ramp, an 8-by-30-foot pier with a 4-by-20-foot ramp, a 4-by-50-foot gangway to five 8-by-20-foot floats and two 8-by-24-foot floats to be next to the lobster pound, where Radcliffe also plans to add and replace existing floats. 

According to the town land use ordinance, the project on the Woof Wagon lot is considered new use and would be allowed with Planning Board approval if it met the standards under the town’s ordinance.  

At the same time, Radcliffe proposed to replace a current 24-by-30-foot float with a new 10-by-24-foot float, as well as to construct two 8-by-24-foot floats, two 8-by-20-foot floats attached to the restaurant dock, two 8-by-20-foot floats with 4-by-20-foot gangways and one 8-by-20-foot float attached to the office dock at Thurston’s. 

During its pre-application meeting, an index that included responses to the proposed establishment’s required standards was also provided by LaPointe to the Planning Board. LaPointe also explained how project concerns from the Army Corps of Engineers and Harbor Committee have already been addressed. As both projects included no structures on land, it was not necessary to schedule a site plan review for either one, and they both advanced to the application stage. 

With this amendment, the Planning Board ruled the two applications to be complete and approved them. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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