NORTH YARMOUTH — The second phase of Village Center Estates is moving forward with an expansion of Knight’s Pond Preserve and trails connected to North Yarmouth Village.

The 25-lot major subdivision on the southern part of the 107-acre parcel is owned and developed by Ben Grover of North Yartmouth-based A.H. Grover, Inc. The first phase of the project, which was approved in 2018, is a 14-lot development on the northern portion of the land.

According to consulting engineer Jeffrey Read, 22 of the 25 lots are proposed for residential development. Thirteen acres would be reserved for open green space to eventually be donated to the town of Yarmouth and will connect Knight’s Pond Preserve to North Yarmouth Village. One lot is set aside for commercial development and one for stormwater management.

Read said Grover must get the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to sign off on the project before the planning board can approve his proposal. If the planning board requires more information, the applicant may be asked to attend the next board meeting on Feb. 9, he said.

Alan Stearns, executive director at the Royal River Conservation Trust, said the land trust has been working with selectmen, the town parks committee and the planning board to establish a trailhead in the village. If Grover follows through with his intention to donate the green space to the town, it would provide the ability to expand the preserve by approximately 12 acres, adding roughly a half-mile to the trail and a parking area.

We were very fortunate that from the beginning, Ben Grover shared our vision,” said Stearns. “It’s taken a few years, but we now have Ben offering the green space and the trail connection. It’s an amazing asset to be able to live and work and dine in the village with a trail network just behind you that frankly rivals Bradbury in terms of its potential.”

Beavers are active each year on Knight’s Pond, which spans 46 acres of the 334-acre Knight’s Pond Preserve. Courtesy / Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust

Most of Knight’s Pond Preserve is owned and managed by the towns of Yarmouth and Cumberland and is protected through the joint efforts of the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust. The preserve has been growing almost every year since it was established in 2015 with 215 acres. It is now 334 acres and consists of a 46-acre pond, 6 miles of trails and a large forest. 

North Yarmouth Town Manager Rosemary Roy said development in the village center was a priority highlighted in the town’s 2018 comprehensive plan.

“The village center is a main focus for the town,” Roy said. “Even before the comprehensive plan was rewritten in 2018, the previous plan said we need to concentrate on development in the village center, which is exactly what is happening.” 

“We’re just getting started, and we hope to see more as time goes on,” Roy said. “I think North Yarmouth is going to do what they want, what their goal says in their comprehensive plan, and what their vision is.”  

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: