By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, October 5, 2012
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — Kennebunk Savings Bank is coming to downtown Hampton, taking over the now-defunct Cumberland Farms store site and the old Gray Funeral Home building.
The Planning Board voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the project, to be located at 24 Winnacunnet Road and 355 Lafayette Road.
The plan for the new bank calls for the removal of the former convenience store building and the garage section from the Gray Funeral Home, with the remainder being renovated to house the new bank.
The facility will include a two-lane drive-through with an ATM and a bypass lane.
Michael Keane, architect for the project, said the site of the Cumberland Farms property will essentially be a driveway or access point to the bank from Lafayette Road.
The funeral home building, he said, will be renovated into the bank with a traditional New England feel.
The bank will be pale yellow and the four stained-glass funeral home windows will be replaced to give the bank a "livelier look."
"We will be bringing back a cupola to the building," Keane said. "I know it was there when the building was a Friendly's. The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Joe Coronati, of Jones & Beach Engineers Inc., said the project was designed with some flexibility to account for the town's pending project to reconfigure the intersection of Lafayette and Winnacunnet roads.
The board noted this was the first project to gain approval in just one meeting since the creation of the site plan review committee.
The developers met twice prior to the Planning Board session with its site plan review committee, essentially ironing out any issues of concern.
Hampton Town Planner Jamie Steffen said the meetings were productive.
"They satisfied all the concerns the committee members expressed," said Steffen, who noted both the public works and fire departments have verbally signed off on the project.
As part of the development, the drainage system will be replaced.
The existing parking lot will be overhauled and raised a couple of feet, and there will be two full-access drives to the facility along with new lighting, landscaping and signage.
Meanwhile, the board also approved a special permit for the project, as the plan calls for removing asphalt within a 50-foot wetlands buffer zone. The Conservation Commission signed off on the project at its last meeting.
Kennebunk Savings is a mutual savings bank founded in 1871 and headquartered in Kennebunk, Maine. It currently has 15 branch locations.