Final approval for commercial subdivision in Freeport

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FREEPORT — The Project Review Board on Aug. 15 granted final approval of a nine-lot commercial subdivision on U.S. Route 1.

Under the proposal, CF Cousins River, LLC would subdivide the 38-acre parcel to provide “attractive commercial development lots” on the site, which is zoned for the use along the Route 1 corridor. Approximately 20 acres would be used for the development.

The site, which is now vacant, sits at an unassigned address adjacent to Pillars Antiques and across from Napa Auto Parts.

No site plans or uses are proposed yet.

Town Planner Donna Larson said the vote was simply an approval of dividing the land into lots. Each potential developer will need to come before the board for conceptual, preliminary and final site plan approval.

Jason Vafiades of Atlantic Resource Consultants, who represented CF Cousins River, said anything allowed in the town’s commercial zone could be proposed, similar to what is seen along Route 1 today. 

“You can expect a mix of anything allowed in that zone. I think the front would lend itself to more … small-scale commercial stuff,” Vafiades said, noting that there has been interest from potential developers.

“We don’t know specifically what will be in there right now, but you can anticipate a range,” he added.

A new private road to provide access to the nine lots and sidewalk along the front of the property, within the right of way, will be constructed.

The parcel abuts a parcel owned by the Freeport Forestry Foundation, which has an “extensive” trail system and easement held by the Freeport Conservation Trust. According to CF Cousins River’s application, it would offer a 20-foot wide trail easement to either the trust or the town – CF Cousins River will grant the easement, but not build the trail.

Based on feedback from abutters during preliminary review of the project in June, the location of the trail has been shifted north so it will be farther from neighboring properties. 

FCT Executive Director Katrina Van Dusen on Wednesday said the trust supports the trail.

“We think we can work it out as a very subtle trail,” she said. 

CF Cousins River also has met with neighbors about establishing a buffer between their land and abutters. The intent is to plant a buffer this fall in addition to a 50-foot no-cut buffer along the rear and east property lines on the lot that is closest to residential properties.

According to the application, it is anticipated that construction of the subdivision road and infrastructure could begin in late summer or fall once required approvals have been granted.

“(This is) just dividing the land for potential developers that are allowed in the zone,” Vafiades said, during the meeting in June. “You’re looking at what could potentially be a big development, but it’s piecemeal.”

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

The Project Review Board on Aug. 15 granted CF Cousins River, LLC final approval of a plan to subdivide nearly 38 acres on Route 1 across from NAPA Auto Parts into nine lots for commercial use.