This computer screenshot of a 48-unit apartment building recently constructed by the John Flatley Company in Merrimack, N.H., is similar to one of the seven buildings proposed for a 56.7 acre lot in Saco off Lincoln and Bradley streets. Courtesy Image

SACO — The Planning Board has rejected a Master Planned Development application by the John Flatley Company, which has proposed a 336-unit apartment complex on a 56.7-acre parcel between Lincoln and Bradley streets in Saco.

The project failed to meet the standards on two criteria. The votes came after a lengthy meeting on March 2, where Planning Board members discussed several aspects of the application.

The board voted 6 to 1 with Joyce Leary Clark dissenting, that the Master Planned Development did not meet the criteria set forth in zoning requirement H3 for such developments. That criteria states that the master plan “assures that the treatment of areas adjacent to existing public streets creates an attractive urban streetscape that is compatible with the pattern of the adjacent neighborhood and results in the transition of the development into the adjacent neighborhood, taking into consideration the scale and massing of any buildings or structures in this area, the orientation of buildings to the street if they are located within 100 feet of the street, the location of parking, vehicular drives, and service areas, including limitations on parking between buildings and existing streets, and any proposed improvements within the street right-of-way.”

As well, the Planning Board voted that the master plan did not demonstrate that the street system could accommodate the traffic generated by the development or that improvements could be reasonably made to accommodate the traffic.

The board voted unanimously to deny the Master Planned Development application.

It is unclear as of the deadline for the print edition of the Biddeford-Saco- OOB Courier what the next steps may be. Neither Saco City Planner Bob Hamblen nor John Flatley Company engineer Kevin Walker, who has been heavily involved with the project, responded to emails asking whether a rejection could result in a new application, an appeal, or some other step.

The project calls for 7, 48-unit apartment building in the MU4 zone, which includes Master Plan Developments, on the 56.7-acre parcel owned by the Lucia Kimball Deering Trust. Neighbors have said the project is too large, the buildings too big and number of vehicles such a development would generate would further congest traffic, among other issues. Company officials addressing the Planning Board noted that the Master Planned Development, which precedes a site plan application review, could be approved with conditions.

At a January online neighborhood meeting, company officials said the development would add an estimated $754,800 annually in tax revenue to the city; $84,672 in vehicle excise tax revenue and $480,000 in city building permit fees, along with unspecified amounts in fees for impacts to police, fire and sewer departments. The project would generate about 150 construction jobs and 10 permanent jobs, company officials said.

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