Kennebunk public hearings set on veterans property and other zoning issues

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KENNEBUNK – Public hearings on three zoning proposals – including a contract zone that would allow a non-profit organization to build a suitable and accessible home for an injured veteran – are scheduled for the board meeting of the January 11.

The hearings are scheduled before a special city meeting, which is scheduled to take place on March 15.

Homes for Our Troops are building houses adapted for seriously injured military personnel who have served in theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001, according to the agency’s website. Homes for Our Troops has built 324 homes across the country since its founding in 2004, and 73 more are underway. This would be his first home in Maine.

Homes for Our Troops is proposing to build a home for a veteran at 14 Perkins Lane. The single-family home would be located on land that ultimately is not as large as it was supposed to be in the multiple real estate listing service. According to Homes for Our Troops attorney Ralph Austin, the lot was listed in municipal assessment records as 3.3 acres. The agency learned after its purchase in 2019 that the land was slightly smaller than the minimum land size of three acres, and with the wetlands, the net building land is 2.5 acres – hence the demand for a contract area.

The property’s septic design was approved in 2020.

The planning council held its own public hearing on December 13 and voted unanimously to send the matter to the board of directors with a positive recommendation that it be included in the mandate of the special meeting of the city of March 15.

Kennebunk City lawyer Natalie Burns told the board on December 28 that under the agreement with Homes for Our Troops, the veteran assumes full ownership of the property in 10 years. .

During the planning board meetings it was discussed whether there was any land available that could be added to the parcel, and there is not.

At the restricted board meeting, member Sally Carpenter asked if there was any fear of setting a precedent.

“Each contract area is seen on its own merits,” Burns said, and therefore does not set a precedent.

The five board members present voted to approve the referral of the matter to open court, as they did for a proposed purchase of city-owned land on Plummer Lane and an amendment to zoning that would reduce the width of the lot for multi-family homes. in the mixed-use residential and commercial district of York Street, 200 feet wide to 100 feet wide.

According to a summary from town planner Brittany Howard to the town planning board, which she said was based on the table provided by the applicant, only 21 of the 72 lots in the neighborhood would be authorized for multi-family projects under the width restriction. current.

“If the district’s goal is to encourage mixed development, the current lot width thresholds are a limiting factor for lot development,” Howard wrote, in part. She noted that the boundaries of the development, including parking requirements, requirements for perimeter green stripes, lot coverage, setbacks and other design criteria, would remain in place.

The change would only apply to multi-family homes proposed for the district.

Applicants seeking the proposal are Pete and Katie Gay of York, who have told town planning council through their property consultants that the plot they own, Tax Map 54, Lot 129, would be perfect for multi-family use.

City engineer Chris Osterrieder told the board the change would benefit several plots in the district and provide more density.

The council also agreed to hold a public hearing on a proposed sale of municipal property on Plummer Lane.

Burns said one of the plots is not buildable and has no value to anyone except the foothills. She said the board might want to discuss whether to sell it to abutters or offer it up for auction, acknowledging the auction pool might be small.

An owner whose land abuts two city-owned plots asked if the Municipality would sell them and indicated that he was willing to acquire all of the land adjacent to his property or share the acquisition with other adjacent owners on Plummer Lane.

The municipality acquired the property in 1975 and 1980.

A selected board member, Carpenter, asked why the city bought the property, but no one seemed to know.

One plot is leftover land, the other was under development at some point, Osterrieder told some members of the board. He said the person interested in the property would use it as a buffer for current holdings for the purpose of developing multi-family housing.

Osterrieder said there had been no formal offer on the property and he was looking to ask the board to look after an individual or the neighborhood as a whole.

Some board meetings, hosted through Zoom, start at 6:30 pm Instructions for joining the meetings are on the agenda, which are usually posted on Friday afternoons at www.kennebunkmaine.us/AgendaCenter.


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