Residents opposed to a proposed new subdivision in Wells say the intersection of Stephen Eaton Lane and U.S. Route 1 is dangerous and adding more vehicles heightens that danger. FILE PHOTO

WELLS — Members of the Wells Town Planning Board voted unanimously to reject the final application for a controversial proposed development called Harborside Village in a meeting earlier this week.

Developer The Landings LLC of Leominster, Massachusetts, is seeking to create a multi-family subdivision called Harborside Village that would include 26 duplex units in 13 buildings and 16 single-family condominium units on a 19.45 acre parcel of land off Stephen Eaton Lane via Papa Smurf Lane and Bourassa Lane. Residents living nearby have protested the proposal since it was first announced in 2017 for numerous reasons.

The development would have required future residents to enter and exit the subdivision from Stephen Eaton Lane, which is a dead end road, for accessing U.S. Route 1 and beyond. A secondary, gated access point would have been created on Bourassa Lane, also a dead end road, and it would have emptied onto Stephen Eaton Lane to gain entry to U.S. Route 1.

Bourassa Lane resident Grace Trifaro is one of hundreds of area residents who object to the proposed development.

“I’m very concerned about the congestion and the dangers with the increase of traffic on Stephen Eaton Lane and Bourassa Lane from this development,” she said. “The U.S. Route 1 intersection is already difficult to maneuver.”

Other residents living nearby question the environmental impact the project could have upon wildlife and destruction of wetlands.

“My concern is for the environment,” said Rose Marie Maloney, who lives in the Stephen Eaton Apartments. “We have a lot of wildlife on Stephen Eaton Lane and the area where the subdivision is being developed.”

The total wetland fill for the proposed project is about 14,000 square feet, buildings would also be near two vernal pools on the site which would require a buffer. Last year, Wells Planning Department staff expressed concerns about the proposed subdivision’s drainage system which were not addressed in the developer’s final application.

In reaching a decision, Planning Board members cited a Feb. 22, 2019, memo from the Wells Planning Office to the board, that noted that the final application did not include any of the requirements needed to deem the application complete.

The developer sought an extension of 180 days to satisfy preliminary conditions of approval and final completeness requirements. Some of those requirements included obtaining approvals from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the project.

The Planning Board had the option of receiving the application and giving the developer 30 days to provide the information needed to deem the application complete, to grant an extension or to refuse without prejudice to act on the final plan and require resubmission of the preliminary plan.

By a 4-0 vote, Wells Planning Board members chose to have the developer resubmit the preliminary plan application once again.

Current landowners of the site are Robert and Marijane Blake.

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 or by email at [email protected]

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