KENNEBUNK – Public hearings on three zoning proposals – including a contract zone that would allow a nonprofit to build an adapted, accessible home for a wounded veteran – are set for the Jan. 11 select board meeting.

The hearings are scheduled ahead of a Special Town Meeting, expected to be held March 15.

Homes for Our Troops builds adapted homes for severely injured members of the military who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war since Sept.11, 2001, according to the agency’s website. Homes for Our Troops has built 324 homes nationwide since its founding in 2004, with an additional 73 underway. This would be its first home in Maine.

Homes for Our Troops is proposing to build a home for a veteran at 14 Perkins Lane. The single-family home would be on a lot that, as it turns out, is not as large as it was purported to be in the real estate multiple listings service. According to Homes for Our Troops attorney Ralph Austin, the lot was listed in municipal assessment records as being 3.3 acres. The agency learned after its 2019 purchase that the lot was slightly less than the minimum three-acre lot size, and with wetlands, the net buildable land is 2.5 acres – hence the request for a contract zone.

The septic design for the property was approved in 2020.

The planning board held its own public hearing Dec. 13 and voted unanimously to send the matter to the select board with a positive recommendation that it be included in the March 15 Special Town Meeting warrant.

Kennebunk town attorney Natalie Burns told the select board on Dec. 28 that under the terms of agreement with Homes for Our Troops, the veteran assumes full ownership of the property in 10 years.

During planning board meetings, there was discussion of whether there was any available land that could be added to the parcel, and there is not.

At the select board meeting, member Sally Carpenter asked if there was concern about setting a precedent.

“Each contract zone is considered on its own merits,” said Burns, and so does not create a precedent.

The five members of the select board present voted to approve sending the matter to public hearing, as they did for a proposal for the purchase of town-owned land on Plummer Lane and a zoning amendment that would reduce the lot width for multi-family homes in the York Street Mixed Residential and Commercial Use District from 200 feet wide to 100 feet wide.

According to a summary by Town Planner Brittany Howard to the planning board, which she said was based on the table supplied by the applicant, only 21 out of 72 lots in the district would be permitted for multifamily projects under the current width restriction.

“If the purpose of the district is to encourage mixed development, the current thresholds for lot width is a limiting factor for lot development,” Howard wrote, in part. She noted limits on development including parking requirements, green perimeter strip requirements, lot coverage, setbacks and other design criteria would remain.

The change would only apply to multi-family homes proposed for the district.

Applicants seeking the proposal are Pete and Katie Gay of York, who told the planning board through their property consultants that the parcel they own, Tax Map 54, Lot 129, would be perfect for multi-family use.

Town engineer Chris Osterrieder told the select board the change would benefit several parcels in the district and provide more density.

The board also agreed to host a public hearing on a proposal to sell town-owned property on Plummer Lane.

Burns said one of the parcels is not buildable and is of value to no one except the abutters. She said the select board might want to discuss whether to sell it to the abutters or put it out to bid, recognizing the bid pool might be small.

A property owner whose land abuts two parcels owned by the town has asked if the municipality would sell them and indicated a willingness to acquire all of the land adjacent to their property or share in the acquisition with other abutting property owners on Plummer Lane.

The town acquired the property in 1975 and 1980.

Select board member Carpenter asked why the town bought the property, but no one seemed to know.

One parcel is a remnant of land, the other was under development at one time, Osterrieder told select board members. He said the individual interested in the property would use it as a buffer to current holdings in a bid to develop multi-family housing.

Osterrieder said there has been no formal offer on the property and he was seeking direction from the board whether to deal with one individual or the neighborhood as a whole.

Select board meetings, held via Zoom, begin at 6:30 p.m. Instructions for joining meetings are on the agenda, which are usually posted Friday afternoons at www.kennebunkmaine.us/AgendaCenter.

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