A wooded area where, if approved, parts of the development would be situated. Courtesy of Darren Wallach

A proposed development at Brunswick Landing consisting of 40-homes, three apartment buildings and two condominium buildings is facing resistance from some neighbors.

According to Curtis Neufeld, owner of the engineering company Sitelines PA, the proposal also includes roughly 2,100 feet of roadway. The apartment buildings would total 36 units, and the condominiums would have eight units each.

The developments are proposed off Route 24 in the area of Guadalcanal Street, Enterprise Drive and Intrepid Street. Brunswick Landing Ventures is guiding the application and the private owner of the land.

If approved, the site will be bought, built and sold through Graiver Homes, a building company owned by Loni Graiver.

“We interviewed probably 10 different developers and he had the lowest cost and could come in with the most affordable houses,” said Brunswick Landing Ventures owner Chris Rhoades.

Estimated pricing is around $325,000 for the residential homes, $1,395-$1,650 per month for apartments and $275,000 per condominium unit, according to Graiver, although noting prices could change with market conditions.

According to The Maine State Housing Authority, housing in Brunswick has been “generally unaffordable” for at least 20 years. In 2020, the median income in Brunswick was $70,724, which according to the authority, makes a house priced at $251,300 affordable.

However, according to The Maine State Housing Authority, the actual median home price in Brunswick for 2020 was $329,550, a price deemed affordable for an income of $92,746 and, therefore, unaffordable for 62% of residents.

At Monday’s meeting, residents said the property is currently used by the neighborhood as a natural space for the community.

“We are extremely concerned about losing even more open space, wetlands being built on, as well as playgrounds and fields,” said neighborhood resident Darren Wallach. “This proposal would be, quite simply, destroying our paths and woods in an already increasingly urban, built-up area.”

Roughly 15,000 square feet of wetlands would be filled in for the development, according to Neufeld, which will require permitting from the Department of Environmental Protection. It is unclear how many trees may be impacted.

“As unfortunate as some of the loss of woods are, this area was envisioned for high-density housing from the initial discussions of the base closure and rezoning that took effect,” said Neufeld. “The projects coming forward are new, but it’s been part of the redevelopment vision or intent of Brunswick Landing for more than a decade.”

Three more residents voiced similar concerns, which included comments about the impact the development will have on the neighborhood’s density, environment, areas for kids to play, taxes and property value.

“Our sense of community there is nurtured by all of this open space, we spend a lot of time outside, we walk our dogs, we gather,” said Denese Lynch, another neighbor. “This morning I went out and measured it, and the new two houses will go behind mine at 33-feet from my back doorstep. So, it’s going to be congested, it’s going to be loud.”

In 2011, the Brunswick Naval Air Station was decommissioned, and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority was charged with guiding the redevelopment and civilian use of the retired military base.

If approved, the project would be the third phase of a development series in Brunswick Landing. The second phase, which was approved and included a 36-home development, also drew pushback from residents, The Times Record reported in 2020.

While some council members expressed concern, the decision is up to the planning board and a meeting will be held on Oct. 12 to review the preliminary application.

“I do hope that ultimately at the end of the day we can find a way to balance the development with some of the concerns you’ve raised especially in regard to green spaces…,” said Town Councilor Dan Ankeles. “I hope there’s a middle ground at some point at the end of this.”

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