SCARBOROUGH — Speakers at a Town Council public hearing Wednesday continued to be divided over a Piper Shores retirement community proposal to add 52 new residences.

Some abutters said the development proposed on Dorado Drive across from the 138-acre facility would increase neighborhood traffic, bring low-wage jobs into the community and become an eyesore for nearby homeowners.

Those who spoke in favor of the proposal said the addition would provide strong social and financial value to the community.

Town Manager Tom Hall said the additional property is under contract, but Piper Shores has not closed on the acquisition, which is contingent on an amendment to its existing contract zone.

A first reading was held in June 2018 and passed unanimously, with Councilor Shawn Babine absent. A second reading is scheduled for the next Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19.

Hall said the year between first and second readings has been dedicated to addressing concerns of residents and abutters about the expansion.

In Wednesday’s public hearing, resident Lucia Jones said “we bought this neighborhood with the promise we would have privacy. We will have to face a four-story apartment building that we’ll have to look at forever. It has been challenging to keep up with this process.”

But Ann Thunderberg, an 80-year-old resident of Piper Shores, said “it’s very hard at my age to find community, much less remember people’s names. But this is what people want at the end of their lives. I cannot believe people would want anything different for Dorado Drive.”

Art Dillon, representing the Scarborough Chamber of Commerce, endorsed the expansion. He said Piper Shores has been a responsible, reliable neighbor willing to contribute to town projects and pay its share of property taxes.

With little room for growth on the property due to 96 acres of conserved land, Piper Shores wants to amend the contract zone granted in 1997 to include property at 5 Dorado Drive for an independent living development. The proposal includes 16 duplexes, 28 apartments with a common clubhouse and eight single-family homes.

Piper Shores agreed to buy the 45-acre Dorado Drive property in July 2017 from David and Patricia MacDonald. The agreement included a 24-month deadline to obtain town approval for the zoning changes.

Piper Shores, at 15 Piper Road, is the town’s largest single-lot taxpayer, with an assessed value of $84.9 million and an annual property tax bill of more than $1.4 million.

The community now has 350 residents in four areas of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care and nursing. It says it has 190 people on a waiting list for independent living.

Krysteana Scribner can be reached at [email protected] or 780-9094. Follow her on Twitter: @krysteana2016.

Piper Shores retirement community wants to add 52 residences at 5 Dorado Drive in Scarborough, but needs a contract zone amendment for the project. This is an rendering of a proposed 18-unit apartment complex.

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