A Boothbay Harbor non-profit organization hoping to preserve public access to the city's waterfront announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement to buy a motel and restaurant overseen by a developer.

Paul Coulombe, at the 17th hole of his Boothbay Harbor Country Club.

The Boothbay Harbor Stewards announced that the agreement to purchase the Cap'n Fish Waterfront Inn and the Atlantic Avenue Marina will be closed on November 1 so that the company can stay open during the next tourist season. Terms of sale will be unveiled at a later date, said Ken F. Fitch, group president.

Last year, the entrepreneur and developer Paul Coulombe had asked the city to rezone the east side of the port to pave the way for a predominantly tourist-based, high-end development, such as hotels, restaurants and shops in an area where it has been banned.

This interest has drawn the attention of the Fitch Group and others to the fear that an influx of these types of commercial uses will harm the active waterfront.

"(The sale) will strive to maintain and enhance the traditional character of Boothbay Harbor and in particular, it will look for ways to protect the waterfront being exploited and expand the area." Public access to water for the benefit of residents and visitors, "Stewards of Boothbay Harbor said in a statement released Thursday.

Fitch said his group, which will be renamed Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation, will spend the next nine months raising enough money – the amount not being released Thursday – to buy the property.

More financial details of the purchase will be made public when the group's board of directors has had the opportunity to meet. The Selectmen Boothbay Harbor Board of Directors is also scheduled to meet at 7:00 pm. Monday to discuss the rezoning of the east side of the port of the city. All changes will need to be authorized by voters at the Boothbay Harbor Town meeting in May.

City authorities are still reviewing the zoning by-law, but the slowness of the review process led Coulombe to withdraw its offer to purchase Cap'n Fish in October. Attempts to reach Coulombe on Thursday night were unsuccessful.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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