But developer Kevin Bunker of Developers Collaborative Predevelopment LLC assured residents that he would listen to their concerns, meet them, and that housing wouldn’t detract from their neighborhood.
Planning Board Chairman Eric Laustsen announced at the start of the June 21 meeting that all parties had agreed to consider the meeting as a pre-submission meeting. The first formal review is expected on July 19.
Suzette Robinson of North Main Street said she strongly opposes placing a 53-unit low-income housing project in her neighborhood. She said this would reduce the value of her property and the value of the property of others in the neighbourhood.
“How am I going to get compensation,” she said.
Robinson also expressed concern about runoff and people loitering outside the building, reducing the privacy of her property.
Valerie Huber of North Main Street said she had spoken to people up and down the street and they were all against the project. She also said she was concerned that the project would reduce the value of her property. Hopper said she was concerned about the increased traffic, saying she was tired of burying cats and squirrels killed by fast vehicles.
Rebecca and Linwood Lothrop of North Main Street have expressed concern about runoff if the property is to be developed. They said they have been there for 41 years and also said they are concerned about the loss of privacy with such a major development.
The project will consist of a two-and-a-half storey apartment building with 53 affordable housing units at 118 Maverick Street, located between North Main and Maverick Streets. There will be 49 one-bedroom apartments and four studio apartments. Each housing unit will be 25 feet by 25 feet.
The estimated development cost is $10 million to $13 million and will take 12 to 14 months to complete upon approval.
Bunker, founding director of Developers Collaborative, said he will work on naming Peasley Park for the development after his friend Leroy Peasley. Beasley was a Marine who served in World War II and then was a lifelong teacher. He died in January at the age of 97.
Paisley Park will have one lane off Maverick Street to a parking lot with 66 parking spaces. Suggested site improvements include shared open spaces, gardens, landscaping and various land improvements for temporary storage. An extension of the sidewalk down Maverick Street to Birch Street will open pedestrian access to the existing sidewalk southeast of the site, which provides pedestrians with access to many of the city’s retail and service stores, the developer says in the app.
Bunker told the neighbors he would put up a fence to separate the development from the property of any rambler who wanted one.
The land is currently owned by Stanley and Lisa Carlton. The developer has a purchase and sale agreement of 2.5 acres of land that is currently undeveloped.
Bunker, founding director of Developers Collaborative, said the income limits for potential renters will be $25,000 to $38,000 with rents between $600 and $800 per month. He said this is not so much a low-income development as a housing project for people 55 and older, many of whom are likely to be in the workforce.
The project could offer many units due to the area change which was approved by the city council on May 9th. The minimum lot size per dwelling has been reduced from 5,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet in residential areas B and from 2,500 to 2,000 square feet in transitional business areas. The site designated for the Seniors Housing Project is a combination of B residential areas and transitional business areas.
Funding is requested, in part, through the Maine Housing Authority. Rentals are subsidized, which makes it affordable for everyone.
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