SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland Planning Board approved preliminary plans for seven new apartments on Cole Street on Oct. 23, assuring concerned neighbors that the plans still need some work.

Pleasantville Condominiums LLC, the developers, would add three new buildings to the existing property on 9 Cole St.

A couple of Cole Street residents, who spoke at the meeting, said they were concerned about added traffic and storm water management.

Cole Street, which is narrow and close to the water, doesn’t have much room for bigger trucks and emergency vehicles to turn around, the residents said, so that would be an issue for potential renters.

“The traffic on that street is very heavy,” said Constance Holmes, who lives on Cole Street. “We have a lot of children in the neighborhood. There are little boys who ride their bikes, so I’m just concerned about traffic.”

Jason Romagnoli, another Cole Street neighbor, said that residents had received a letter saying that the building would be condominiums, not apartments.

As the proposed plans would be so close to the water, the planning board advised the developer to be careful.

Where there are currently trees, Jayson Haskall, the consulting engineer, said they will be adding dumpsters.

“So you’re telling me residents have to walk all the way down to the other end of the facility for their trash now?” asked board member Michael Taylor. “I’m just saying that people become lazy. I’m just saying for the convenience of people.”

Board member Shahida Keen said that the developer needs to work on landscaping.

“So that new Dumpster is going to be where someone’s backyard was?” she said. “I would ask that some evergreens get put there so people who have been looking at trees for all those years aren’t looking at somebody’s Dumpster.”

She added that would help with the odor, too.

Linda Boudreau said that she was concerned about the added traffic flow, which is already an issue city-wide.

“I don’t know anyone who hasn’t complained about how difficult it is getting through South Portland.”

While she wouldn’t be against the plans for the apartments, Boudreau said she would feel more comfortable with some more traffic research.

“This is getting very close to the intersection of Amato’s and all of that, so I start to have concerns about the amount of traffic,” she said. “That’s where it’s at. I’m really wondering. We really need to know how much traffic that comes out of that side street. I have a hard time with the engineer saying that these are seven family units and only four people are going out to work in the morning.”

After the board reviewed the plans, Planning Board Chair Kevin Carr said that there wasn’t a reason to reject them.

“I have some sensitivity to the neighbors, especially those on Cole Street,” he said. “I remember being in proximity to an apartment and everyone had to vacate the parking lot. I agree with my colleagues at least in terms of the preliminary site plan. This meets the standard. As long as the applicant meets the ordinances, that where it ends for us.”

Catherine Bart can be reached at [email protected] or 780- 9029.

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