Developer seeks time to fine-tune 47-home project in Topsham

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TOPSHAM — A proposed 47-lot housing development off Mallett Drive may go before the Planning Board next month for final subdivision approval.

The board was scheduled to take up the matter Tuesday, but the applicant requested a postponement to make modifications, according to Planning Director Rich Roedner.

Developer Dan Catlin – who has projects in town on Winner’s Circle and Topsham Fair Mall Road – wants to build Mallett Woods, a subdivision of 47 single-family homes.

The project will be an open-space development, with about 8 1/2 acres of the 26-acre property conserved in open space.

The Planning Board found last year that the proposal fits within the guidelines of Topsham’s open space ordinance, which requires a minimum of 30 percent of the property to be set aside as open space.

Catlin has indicated to the town that he would like to start the project as soon as possible, Roedner said on Monday. The subdivision is to be developed in four phases; Catlin has received preliminary approval for all four, but is seeking final approval for only the first one, Roedner explained.

Wetlands are minimal on the site, and exist primarily in open-space areas, Rod Melanson, the town’s assistant planner, said last December. “What we call in our ordinance the primary conservation areas of the site – streams, wetlands, steep slopes – all of those things are being preserved on-site,” Melanson said, so any impact on wetlands would be minimal.

Developing an open-space project allows a developer greater flexibility in lot dimensions than is allowed under the town’s standard subdivision rules.

Catlin’s proposal, in Topsham’s Residential 1 zoning district, received preliminary subdivision approval last month.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. 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.