From left, Joe Cerny, Tia Simon and Joe Staples at a site walk last month for a proposed development in the White Rock area of Gorham. The residents oppose a new subdivision planned for the area. Robert Lowell / For American Journal

Residents of a rural Gorham neighborhood say they’re worried about how a proposed housing development will impact the environment, but the developer said half the acreage in the new subdivision will be turned over to a local land trust.

Ken Grondin, president of Grondin Corporation of Windham, wants the town’s permission to build the Mountain Trail Meadows subdivision in the town’s White Rock section, with plans for 37 single-family homes on a 105-acre tract off Wescott Road.

Mountain Trail Meadows will be the only item on the agenda when the Planning Board meets in a workshop at 6 p.m. Monday, July 18, following a site walk in June.

The project was introduced to planners in April.

Grondin said the value of the homes will range from $550,000 to $800,000 and half the tract – 50 acres – will be set aside for conservation.

“We build a good product,” Grondin said. “We’re a good neighbor.”


But neighbors of the proposed project are worried about the impact on the environment, the adjacent Mountain Division Walking Trail and local wildlife, along with additional traffic on the dead end Wescott Road.

A rural White Rock neighborhood opposes a housing development. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Grondin said plans call for a cluster development with lot sizes of .075 and 6 acres.

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust will take over the open space for passive recreation that would include hiking and fishing.

“It’s a nice conservation subdivision,” Grondin said.

According to the town, the property is a mix of field, wetland and forest.

Tia Simon of Barstow Road said animals in the area include snowshoe hare, bobcat, deer, fisher cat and a bald eagle.


In a letter to planners and the Town Council, John and Dawn Palme of Allison Lane wrote, “Site development will have a negative impact in the area and requires a comprehensive environmental impact study to access the risks.”

The Palmes also pointed out the negative visual impact on the walking trail along the former Mountain Division railroad line that once connected Portland with Fryeburg. The “natural beauty and rural character” of the adjacent land should be maintained, they wrote.

It’s not certain how many people are acting in opposition to the project, but a private Facebook page called “Smart Growth for Rural Gorham,” has 146 members.

Grondin, who also builds industrial subdivisions, hopes for approval by December with construction starting this winter.

Tyler Stanley of Goodall Road wants the Planning Board to conduct another site walk.

“We only saw what the developers want for the conserved area,” Stanley wrote in an email chain sent to the neighbors.

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