After a lenghty discussion over public use of a trail through a development, the Gorham Planning Board approved a request Monday for a six-lot subdivision with access from Snowberry Drive and Brackett Road.

Called the Wilson Field development, the project was proposed by Jim and Sharon Gregoire.

The developers opted for a trail through the cluster development for recreation, but were surprised to learn for the first time Monday during the meeting that the town wanted the trail open to the public.

Some unanswered questions that arose included responsiblity for maintaining the trail and who would be responsible if someone suffered an injury on the trail.  It appeared that the Gorham Conservation Commission requested a right to maintain the new trail.

Another concern was whether public access would extend to a connecting trail in an existing development without the town taking over the open space. Douglas Eaton of Snowberry Drive spoke about public use of trails as one of his concerns.

Another developer, Susan Duchaine of Design Dwellings, said that the town lawyer should be consulted about the matters involving trails, and Town Planner Tom Poirier said the board would seek a legal opinion from its attorney, Natalie Burns.

Meanwhile, Planning Board Chairman Edward Zelmanow said the board only approved  a trail through the common area of the six-lot development to connect with two existing trail heads.

In other action, planners granted preliminary approval for Brackett Brook Condominiums with six duplex buildings in addition to one existing one on a 3.45-acre site at 210 Huston Road.

Shawn Frank, an engineer with Sebago Technics, represented developer, STJ Inc., which includes Tom Shaw.

The development would have 14 units in seven buildings and the project would have a 600-foot road with an esplanade and up to 1,600 feet of sidewalk. No one from the public spoke.

Planners will schedule a site walk.

In its packed agenda Monday, the Planning Board approved a request by PTG Investment Trust for three single-family condo units and two commercial units with second floor apartments off Main Street and Garden Avenue.

In a family subdivision, Dean and Dale Cole were approved for an additional two lots and an upgrade of a private way with an extension off Great Falls Road.

Duchaine is asking the town for permission to amend Snowbird Condominiums to add three new units on a 1.07-acre site off Connor Drive in Allen Acres on Main Street. It is set for likely approval on a consent agenda at the Planning Board meeting on Monday, July 11.

On consent agenda items this week, 17 Laurence LLC was approved for two additional commercial buildings at 17 Laurence Drive in Gorham Industrial Park and Shaw Brothers got the green light to expand its aggregate handling, stockyard and laydown areas on Mosher Road.


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