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Yarmouth residents question proposed 48-house development

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Yarmouth residents question proposed 48-house development

YARMOUTH — Neighbors of a proposed subdivision off Hillside Street offered the developer more complaints than compliments during a community meeting last week.

The developer of the proposed 48-house McKearney Village project held an informational meeting Wednesday, Sept. 15, to discuss the proposal and to allow residents an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.

Developer Mike Albert, of Albert Realty in Pownal, and William Conway, vice president of landscape architecture at Sebego Technics, presented the initial plans.

Conway said the proposed open space housing development would be built west of Bowdoin Street on 58 acres of land owned by Elizabeth Dickinson. Her home would remain on the property.

The plan includes an extension of Sycamore Drive to Hillside Street, and will provide sidewalks on all new streets. Homes would sit on quarter-acre lots, and would be between 1,800 and 2,800 square feet, with three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. Fifty-eight percent of the land would be retained as open space, Conway said.

Albert said he did not know how much the homes will cost.

Conway told the nearly 40 residents in attendance that pedestrian circulation, wetland and vernal pool protection, and neighborhood connectivity are important to the development.

The plan is expected to go to the Planning Board by the end of October, but has not been officially filed yet. Conway said construction could start by next year.

"We are here tonight to listen to your concerns and answer questions," he said.

Residents from the Applecrest, Hickory and Hillside neighborhoods voiced concerns with the plan. They said they do not want the project to result in a traffic increase, and they are concerned about a lack of stop signs in the plan.

Some residents said they want to see more buffers between the proposed development and the existing neighborhoods, and others voiced concerns about storm water runoff. Residents also said they want clear protective covenants and requested sidewalks along Hillside Street.

Some residents encouraged the developer to create a field or play area for neighborhood children, while other residents were content with access to the middle school playground and acres of open space.

But Bill Palli, a Cumberland resident who recently bought property in Yarmouth, said the development plan is forward looking.

"This is a development that would appeal to families with working parents who don't have the time to keep up with a big lawn," he said. "Less land will be used for individual homes and more open space will be created. It's smart development."

Dickinson called the meeting a good first step in the development process.

"I thought the meeting went well," she said. "There were a lot of good questions asked, and I think this could be a win-win for everybody."

The Planning Board will review the proposal after it is filed with the town. The next Planning Board workshop is Wednesday, Oct. 13, and the next meeting with  a public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net