Hans Hansen File photo

GORHAM — A proposed change to a zoning contract to allow senior housing in South Gorham sought by developer Hans Hansen now goes to the Planning Board.

The Town Council Tuesday voted 4-2, with Chairwoman Suzanne Phillips and Councilor Lee Pratt opposed, to direct the town’s Planning Board to hold a public hearing and offer its recommendation to the council on the proposed amendment to Hansen’s contract zone.

The Town Council’s Ordinance Committee had recommended the proposed amendment be moved forward, and the full board will have final say whether to grant an amendment to pave the way for the project.

Hansen is seeking to build a dozen homes for ages 55 and up at his business park at the intersection of County Road (Route 22) and South Street (Route 114). The homes would be built off Blue Ledge Road.

Hansen with Bill Walsh of Walsh Engineering Associates in Westbrook attended Tuesday’s meeting, but no one spoke from the public podium.

The business park includes a Cumberland Farms store, a daycare center and a primary care medical facility. Hansen said Wednesday a credit union is interested in building there and he indicated a signed contract is likely soon.

The Town Council in 2018 denied Hansen permission to build his private home in the 24-acre business park.

In other action, the Town Council unanimously supported amending the historic preservation ordinance. The amendment adds historic sites and landmarks, said Noah Miner, chairman of the towns Historic Preservation Commission.

They are the old cemetery on South Street where many of the town’s earliest inhabitants are buried, the town clock in the First Parish Congregational Church, the town’s Civil War Monument on the University of Southern Maine campus and the Founders Monument on South Street in front of the municipal center.

Miner said the cemetery’s stone wall is in disrepair and trees in the cemetery need an arborist.

Phil Gagnon, School Committee member and a former Town Council chairman, questioned the criteria behind listing some old buildings as historic.

“I want a catalog going forward,” Gagnon said.

The board also authorized Town Clerk Laurie Nordfors to issue the warrant for the March 3 state presidential primary election and a special municipal election.

Gorham voters will be asked to choose a town councilor to fill a vacancy created when the board denied seating Janet Kuech, a School Department employee who was elected in November. The board based its decision on an interpretation of the town’s charter.

Kuech filed a lawsuit and it goes to court on Friday, Feb. 7.

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