Faced with mounting opposition, Yarmouth Senior Housing has dropped its proposal to develop a 30-unit apartment complex at the edge of Royal River Park and is hoping to find another site.

The nonprofit agency wanted to build the affordable housing project on two acres of town-owned land on Mill Street, in a grassy and shrubby area at the park’s edge.

Agency officials planned to pitch the project to the Town Council Nov. 17, but decided to drop the plan after a group of residents organized an opposition campaign.

“We heard from many people who supported the location, but there was a vocal group that was vigorously against it,” said Margaret Downing, president of Yarmouth Senior Housing.

The agency, which built the Bartlett Circle apartments in the 1970s, had hoped the council would donate the land for the estimated $5 million project.

Since the agency announced its plans early last month, residents have recommended several other possible sites in town, Downing said.

The agency is reviewing alternative sites to determine which ones may meet a primary project goal, which is to integrate seniors into the village, where community resources and activities are readily accessible.

“We’re looking for a site that’s suitable for the project and one that the town can embrace,” Downing said. “We really don’t want to create divisiveness in Yarmouth.”

Agency officials hope to identify and secure a new site by the end of the year and begin seeking funding through the Maine State Housing Authority early next year, Downing said.

Yarmouth Housing typically has a waiting list of 15 to 20 seniors who are interested in living at Bartlett Circle.


Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]