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Cumberland council sends Doane Property agreement to Planning Board

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Cumberland council sends Doane Property agreement to Planning Board

CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday sent a contract zone agreement for part of the Doane Property Revitalization Project to the Planning Board.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing next month and make a recommendation on the agreement. Then the matter will return to the council.

The 40.7-acre property, which comprises the first of three phases of the revitalization project and is planned to be a 59-lot residential subdivision, is located in the Village Mixed-Use Zone.

The project developer, Bateman Partners of Portland, wants minor changes to what the zone allows and is seeking a contract zone, rather than a more cumbersome total rezoning, Vice President Nathan Bateman said.

Those changes include one instead of two sidewalks along the road running through the subdivision, and reduced street frontages for some buildings.

"What we needed to do on this particular property is configure the lots in such a way to maximize our density, but at the same time reduce our wetland impacts," Bateman explained. "So what we had to do was be very thoughtful in our land use planning."

The agreement is between the town and Village Green Cumberland, a single-purpose corporation created by Bateman Partners.

The benefits to Cumberland through the contract zone agreement include potentially $15 million in new property tax revenue and enhancement of existing trails and a pond on the property, Town Manager Bill Shane said.

Bateman will buy the property from the town for its 2008 assessed value of $425,000. The first phase would include a mix of single-family and duplex homes.

Bateman said he hopes to have local and Maine Department of Environmental Protection permits by July and to begin construction the same month, with the first homeowners able to move in five months later.

Later phases would include relocation of the Public Works and school bus facilities, which are now northeast of the Doane Property. In their place would be constructed six single-family and 12 duplex homes, as well as a nearly 43,000-square-foot mixed-use building that would house 20 residential rental units and 14,300 square feet of office or retail space.

The 17,600-square-foot Drowne Road School is proposed to become a senior housing/community center, and a four-acre town-owned parcel to the north of the Doane Property is being eyed for recreational uses.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.