SCARBOROUGH — On Nov. 20, the Scarborough Town Council voted to table a decision concerning additions to the Downs development project until council members and residential neighbors are clear on the zoning changes.

The Downs developers are looking to purchase a 15-acre parcel of land that would serve as a buffer between the current Downs development project, said Dan Bacon, development director.

The parcel of land is east of the Down’s project, said Bacon, and it is directly adjacent to the land, currently undeveloped and zoned as village residential. If acquired, the developers would like to change the zoning to reflect the project’s interests.

The developers would like to have the parcel rezoned as part of the Crossroads Planned Development District, which would allow development and conservation.

The council had some concerns about residents on Sawyer Road, who live close to the parcel and could potentially be impacted by the decision in the upcoming years.

“I know you guys have good intentions, but you might not own that in five years, 10 years,” said Councilor John Cloutier. “These are pretty drastic zoning changes.”


Bacon said that the developers invited neighbors living within a 500-foot area of the property to attend an informative meeting, with three residents arriving to listen to the proposed changes.

As far as the Downs project is concerned, there wouldn’t be a way for the developers to connect to Sawyer Road, as the zoning ordinance forbids it, but future developers in the area might make changes that could impact nearby residents.

“Do the residents on Sawyer Road know that possibility?” asked Councilor Peter Hayes. “In the past, that’s really been an issue for some of the residents on Sawyer Road. I think we should get some feedback from them.”

Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina, who said she had attended the Long Range Planning Board meetings where this amendment was discussed, initially had questions about why the developers needed the property, and she suggested that the council table the issue until Dec. 4.

Bacon said that the developers felt it appropriate to buy the property while the landowners were selling, as they believe their proposal will benefit the Downs development and the town overall.

“If these guys don’t buy it, someone else could and develop it in another scenario,” he said.

There was also a bit of confusion on the council’s end on whether or not the developers could connect to Sawyer Road with the added parcel, which added to the decision to table the vote.

This was the first council meeting with newly-appointed members Betsy Gleysteen and Ken Johnson, and Caterina said that there should be an opportunity for all members to be caught up on the information.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: