Yarmouth planners OK preliminary plan for Hillside subdivision

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YARMOUTH — The Planning Board approved a preliminary plan for McKearny Village, a subdivision of 38 single-family homes off Hillside Street.

The total project also includes a 32-unit multi-family complex that will need board approval at a later date. 

On March 9 the board approved the preliminary plan for the 38 homes and gave feedback to the developer, Mike Albert Realty of Pownal, for the final plan.

The 58-acre property off Hillside Street is owned by Elizabeth Dickinson. About 55 percent, or 32 acres, will be protected as open space and the vernal pools and wetlands on the property will be preserved. The plan includes the extension of Sycamore Drive to Hillside Street and connects sewer, water and sidewalk infrastructure within the neighborhood.

Although in recent public hearings residents have expressed concern about traffic and pedestrian safety, the project manager, William Conway of Sebego Technics in Westbrook, said the neighborhood connectivity will provide safe pedestrian movement and access to Harrison Middle School.

He said the developer will not pay for a total reconstruction of Hillside Street, but would agree to contribute to the construction of a sidewalk along the eastern side of the street.

In addition, town staff will work with the developer to determine an appropriate amount of money to place in an escrow account for pedestrian safety improvements. 

The Planning Board agreed to uphold a 50-foot buffer between houses on Sycamore Drive and Hickory Lane that abut the new development, but granted a waiver to reduce the buffer to 25 feet for a lot on Hillside Street. The board also approved a waiver to reduce the wetland buffer zone and will incorporate language about wetland buffer areas into covenants and include it in the final plan application.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net