A condo project is proposed in the rear of 156 Main St. in Gorham Village. Robert Lowell / American Journal

GORHAM — Traffic was an issue Monday in a Planning Board review of a development with 22 condominiums and one commercial unit proposed by Design Dwellings in Gorham Village.

The development, Natalee Place, would be on land behind a house at 146 Main St. along with adjacent land and a house at 156 Main St. The site, across from Cumberland Farms, is near the traffic signal at the intersection of Main Street (Route 25) and New Portland Road.

The Planning Board postponed preliminary approval of the project 4-1 (Chairman George Fox opposed with members Molly Butler Bailey and Jim Anderson absent) pending results of a traffic study, among other matters.

Susan Duchaine, owner of Design Dwellings, said the condos would most likely be for residents age 55 and up. Duchaine pointed out the location is within walking distance of banks, stores, pharmacies, restaurants and a post office.

She said the traffic increase would be like a “needle in a haystack” and she would not be opposed if the Planning Board wanted a right turn-only exit from the property.

But Planning Board member Tom Hughes called traffic the “elephant in the room.” Another Planning Board member, Vincent Grassi, agreed with Hughes.


“We have to do a traffic study here,” Grassi said. “Everyone knows the existing conditions on Main Street.”

The Planning Board with a 5-0 vote ordered a traffic study, but Duchaine said Tuesday a study is unnecessary to know there’s “a lot of traffic in Gorham.” She said a traffic study could cost her an estimated $5,000.

The development would be served by public water and sewer. The project on about 5.3 acres would include 22 condo buildings with an undetermined commercial use in the house at 156 Main St. Duchaine said Tuesday it would probably house a medical office.

A mudroom and garage would be razed to make way for a 765-foot road over the driveway and into the site.

Besides a traffic study, the Planning Board also requested more information about visual buffering and a potential easement with the Gorham Conservation Commission for a trail connection.

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