Cumberland council OKs Route 1 development changes

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on March 27 unanimously approved a contract zone amendment for a housing development on U.S. Route 1.

The Planning Board last month recommended the council approve developer David Chase’s proposed amendments for Foreside Village.

Chase hopes this year to complete a complex of 45 single-family homes. Also underway just to the north is a 96-unit apartment project in eight buildings that could also be ready for occupancy this year.

To the south of those two projects, Chase hoped to build an additional 40 homes on a site originally intended for commercial development. But to do that, the contract zone on the property had to be amended to increase a cap on the number of homes.

The housing expansion sparked concerns from several residents at a neighborhood meeting in December about the traffic impact on U.S. Route 1. Chase afterward withdrew his request for additional housing.

As part of the contract zone amendment, Chase also requested that Lot 9, an undeveloped parcel on the property, be removed from the contract zone envelope and revert to its underlying Office Commercial South zoning. Doing so would reduce the front setback along U.S. Route 1 from 50 to 25 feet.

Chase then asked to have the lot remain in the contract zone. But with setbacks consistent with what the Planning Board had originally approved before the lot became part of the contract zone agreement, Lot 9 became subject to stricter standards.

A final element of the contract zone amendment eliminates from the plan a trail that was to be built on a buffer between the development and Interstate 295.

That “became unnecessary when sidewalks were built internally in the subdivision, and we didn’t want to impact any of the additional buffer along the top of the banking,” Shane said previously.

A 6-foot-wide gravel trail will instead run along the part of the project governed by the contract zone agreement, and be placed between 25 feet of the property and 25 feet of the U.S. Route 1 right of way.

Chase is also required to plant trees between the development and Middle Road, which sits across I-295 from the project, to replace those removed during the work.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.