Topsham planners await more information on subdivision proposal

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TOPSHAM — The Planning Board on Tuesday tabled discussion on a proposed 16-home subdivision off Middlesex Road.

The Glades Above Homeplace development of single-family homes, proposed by Thomas Bethea, would be built on 35 acres bordered by the Arbor Avenue, Bay Park and Homeplace neighborhoods.

Bethea, who owns the property, is seeking preliminary subdivision approval. The Planning Board conducted a preliminary review of his proposal last October.

The development, in the Residential 2 zone, would connect two of the existing neighborhoods. Somerset Place, part of the Arbor Avenue neighborhood, would connect to the Homeplace road, which would meet town road connectivity standards.

“We mandate connectivity in our subdivision code,” Town Planner Rod Melanson said April 30.

With some neighbors expressing concern over traffic impacts from the new development and connected road, Bethea hired a consultant to conduct a traffic study, Melanson said.

Glades Above Homeplace could generate 12 one-way trips during peak weekday mornings, 15 during the evening weekday peak, and 14 trips on Saturday’s peak, according to the report. The area of the subdivision has no high-crash locations, and “(s)ight distances from the access intersections are more than adequate, exceeding the recommended standards,” the report said.

In his April 28 memo to the Planning Board, Melanson recommended tabling the matter because Bethea still needs to provide a soils report and road construction details pertaining to storm-water and erosion control.

Since the project would be mostly in an aquifer protection zone, it must adhere to standards beyond that of a regular subdivision, Melanson said.

Bethea may be back before the Planning Board next month.

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.