Approval of the Mary McIntire Davis Trust’s development proposal in the town of York would affect the entire state.

Approval of the plan would create a traffic nightmare and a danger to pedestrians, bicyclists, residents, tourists – and especially children.

Worse, the winter population of 14,000 swells to 51,000 in summer, with as many as 20,000 cars per day going down York Street from the village to Route 1. Now add another several hundred cars a day to that? Imagine another entrance onto York Street in this stretch of road between the village and Route 1 like the dangerous one already existing at Raydon Road, with hundreds of cars trying to enter York Street from both of these roads!

Because of the 9 percent slope of the land down to York Street, they now want access to be a private road with a 7 percent grade, to avoid a town ordinance that requires a 2 percent grade for a public road. A 7 percent road carrying possibly hundreds of cars a day onto York Street, especially combined with snow and ice, is an absolute hazard.

There are many reasons why this development should not be approved, including that the current proposal violates several provisions of York’s comprehensive plan. If these violations are accepted by the Planning Board by granting waivers or by disregarding the comprehensive plan altogether, that will set a precedent for every other town in Maine to do the same.

This may be a prudent time for York to seriously revisit purchasing the land from the Davises, but at a reasonable price. The assessed value is $1.18 million, a far cry from the $5 million they demanded earlier.

A successful purchase agreement could turn a potential nightmare into a positive event that would protect York’s future for generations to come.

Betsey Goodwin


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