Harpswell board OKs first subdivision since 2008

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HARPSWELL — The Planning Board has approved the town’s first new subdivision in seven years.

The project will turn a 44-acre parcel off Harpswell Neck Road into 12 residential lots to be developed by future owners.

The proposal went before the Planning Board on April 15, but was sent back to the developer for revisions.

Scott Hastings, of the Midcoast Council of Governments, who is also under contract as the town planner, said the two-meeting review is typical for subdivisions.

“The subdivision process is often complicated and contentious,” he said, and having a project go before the board twice smooths out the process.

During the first meeting, property abutters expressed concern over how the developer would ensure protection of natural resources, specifically an area within the Resource Protection Shoreland zone.

When developer William Clemons came back before the board May 20, the plan had been changed to address those concerns, including adjustment of a fixed, two-acre minimum lot size to flexible lot sizes.

“There are now some smaller parcels, with more land going into preserved common space,” Hastings said.

No lots now fall into the Resource Protection zone. It also preserves about 14.5 acres as open space, and contains a 1,900-foot private drive.

“This (was) the first review for both our company and the (Planning Board) since their new Subdivision Ordinance was approved,” said Kevin Clark, president of the civil engineering firm Sitelines, referring to the ordinance amended in March 2015.

With Planning Board approval, Clemons can break ground on the site.

“They’re all set to go,” Hastings said.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or wwuthmann@theforecaster.net. Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.