Sugarloaf West Mountain subdivision expansion under permit review in Carrabassett Valley

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Sep. 6—CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Planning Board will continue its review of the proposed preliminary plan for Sugarloaf West Mountain Development Subdivision at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15.

The board held a 90-minute public hearing Thursday on Boyne Resort's subdivision plan for Sugarloaf at the Carrabassett Valley Library and Community Center Begin Room. The Planning Board accepted the subdivision application as complete Aug. 11.

The Sugarloaf project is also going through the process at the state level to get permits, including one from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Karl Strand, general manager of Sugarloaf, hopes those permits will be available in October or November.

The West Mountain Project is "a key component of Sugarloaf's 2030 Plan," which represents "a major enhancement for Sugarloaf," according to documents submitted to the state.

"The purpose of the project is to employ a comprehensive master planning approach to further develop the western side of Sugarloaf Mountain to include additional ski trails for all abilities, skier services infrastructure, roads, bridges, parking lots, and housing consisting of condominiums, duplex-style townhomes and single-family lots," according to documents.

Among the goals are:

— Improving Sugarloaf's trail mix to provide additional intermediate and beginner terrain;

— Enhancing protection against wind holds that require partial shutdowns of lifts;

— Providing additional parking and convenient lift access for guests;

— Providing four-season use, a goal that is critical for success of ski areas moving forward. The addition of the lift will be transformative for summers at Sugarloaf and would allow the use of its mid-mountain Bullwinkle's Restaurant facility for weddings, concerts and food beverage services.

— Increasing skier visits by providing additional single-family residential housing on site.

— Increasing the bed base with new townhomes and condominiums. "Sugarloaf is currently experiencing a shortage of housing units available at the mountain. The project would also assist in funding the new lift, 140 acres of new ski terrain, and snowmaking that are the core of the project. Develop the project while being respectful of the environment and leaving of acres in the project area undisturbed," according to documents.

The housing portion of the project consists of 54 single-family lots, four condominium buildings each totaling 22 to 28 units depending on interior configuration for a total of 88 to 112 units; 22 duplex style townhomes (44 units), associated access of roadways, parking, and utilities and stormwater facilities.

The ski terrain portion of the project will include approximately 140 acres of new beginner and intermediate ski terrain, a new high speed-lift, reduced length of the existing West Mountain lift, a skier services building of about 1,500 square feet including 24 restaurant seats, small kitchen and bar, small lodge seating area and an office and for ticket sales. Three new parking lots including about 366 parking spaces are also expected to be constructed.

People at the hearing, members of the Planning Board and Code Enforcement Officer Chris Parks shared some suggestions with Strand and Rick Dunton, director of engineering for Main-Land Development Consultants, Inc. of Livermore Falls. The suggestions will be taken under advisement. Main-Land is working with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin of South Portland on the project.