2017-03-03 / Community News

Board reviews proposal for subdivision

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

It is a densely wooded piece of property now, but Matthew Chamberlain sees a 22-acre parcel he is in the midst of securing, a perfect place for a new subdivision and was before the planning board last week to offer his sketch plan.

Senior Planner Jay Chace said the sketch plan is an informal step in the project review process that provides the applicant an opportunity to present his or her development concept and the planning board a chance to offer preliminary feedback.

The plan, at this point, calls for the creation of eight new lots to go along with one already on site that has a 1930s house on it. A new road will be built and will dead-end before a large piece of open space that abuts 35 acres of open space of the Bittersweet subdivision next door and a large 140-acre piece of undeveloped property owned by the Johnson family.

Chamberlain said the open space, which would be owned by the homeowners association, would be a huge feature for the neighborhood and he intends to take advantage of a series of trails and a large birch tree that are featured on the open space parcel. Because of the “majestic” tree, Chamberlain said he will name the subdivision something birch-related and is working with the Scarborough Police Department to name the roadway that will access the homes.

Chace said because the property sits in the rural farming zone and has more than an acre of wetlands on it, it has to be developed through the conservation subdivision process, which stipulates at least 50 percent of the property has to remain open space.

“It is an absolutely stunning and beautiful piece of land,” Chamberlain.

Two things the planning staff has asked Chamberlain to do before the project goes back before the planning board is examine the possibility of right of way, or future connection to abutting property and undertake a new wetlands delineation study and vernal pool study, something that would have to wait until spring.

Chamberlain said he is open to doing both. Chace said the vernal pool study would be a “key component” of the future preliminary site plan submission and help in determining if the proposed lot layout makes sense.

Before that time, the planning board will also take a site walk of the property to get familiar with the site and its natural resources, a suggestion made by planning board member Susan Auglis.

“I’d be all for a site walk whenever that is feasible,” Board Chairman Corey Fellows said.

“I’d be excited to have you out there,” Chamberlain responded.

Auglis also suggested looking into the possibility of putting a small dirt parking lot at the end of the road for people who might want to hike the trails.

“If it is as wonderful as you say it is, it might be really wonderful to put in a small parking lot … for trail access,” she said.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarbroughleader.com

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