Residents of Scarborough’s Green Acres are working to ensure that a state-owned property will remain a buffer between their neighborhood and the busy Interstate 295 connector and Route 1.

The group scored a victory this month when the Town Council unanimously rejected a rezoning proposal that would have cleared the way for a new medical facility on the 6-acre site.

But rezoning in the future or development under the current zoning are still possible for the wooded property.

“We’re in a sort of limbo state, and obviously that creates a lot of anxiety,” said Deborah Histen, a leader of the group Save Green Acres.

The area, which is also bordered by Elmwood Avenue, Green Acres Lane and First Street, is part of a residential zone where places of worship, museums, schools, golf courses, farm stands and day care facilities also are permitted.

The rezoning would have made it part of the Business Office-Research District, which lies on the opposite side of Route 1 and includes a Maine Medical Center campus.

The neighborhood group is considering a number of strategies. It’s looking into the possibility of turning the property into conservation land, and is trying to meet with representatives of the Maine Department of Transportation, which acquired the land as part of a project that never came to fruition.

Some town councilors have expressed concern that the proposal to rezone the parcel was not vetted by the town’s Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee, which has been assigned to consider the property and recommend appropriate zoning.

The property remains under contract.

The would-be buyer, Maine Eye Center, has not indicated what it will to do next. Richard McArdle, CEO of the practice, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Maine Eye Center wants to move from its cramped space in Portland, and considered the site in Scarborough for a new 40,000-square-foot facility.

Its requirements include proximity to Maine Medical Center in Portland and a parcel of at least six acres.

Harvey Rosenfeld, president and executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp., said he has shown Maine Eye Center other sites in town but doesn’t know the practice’s plans.

Other potential buyers are interested in the site, even with the current residential zoning, said Chris Paszyc of CBRE/The Boulos Co., the broker for the Department of Transportation.

Jack Anderson, president of the Scarborough Conservation Land Trust, said there have been conversations with residents but there is no formal proposal.

He said any effort to acquire the property would require an assessment of whether its conservation would benefit only residents nearby or the town overall.

Residents have sought help from state Sen. Phil Bartlett, a Democrat whose district includes part of Scarborough.

He said the residents want to learn more about the state’s process for selling property, including whether neighbors or a conservation group would have any preference if the deal with Maine Eye Center fell through.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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