Kennebunk resident Charles Tucker said he has placed signs in town expressing his concerns after learning about an abutting landowner’s proposal to split the lot. The planning board is expected to take up the proposed lot split later this month. Courtesy photo

KENNEBUNK – The Kennebunk Planning Board on Aug. 22 asked the owners at 165 High St. – who have applied to split the property – to meet with Kennebunk Kennebunkport and Wells Water District officials after the district expressed concerns about potential issues concerning Branch Brook.

Branch Brook is the primary water supply for the district.

The owners of the property, Sylvain and Maxime Theriault, plan to split the lot, which currently contains one home, so another home can be built. The 7.3-acre property is in two zones of the Branch Brook Aquifer Protection District, as well as the Shoreland Overlay District and the Resource Protection District. The couple has applied for a special exception, which is allowed under Kennebunk’s zoning. They are asking the planning board to allow them to fill 192 square feet of wetlands to access upland for a single-family home.

Justin Richardson of the water district said the district is concerned about the septic tank and other issues. In response to a question from the board, he said that as proposed, the district is opposed to the plan, but is willing to look at alternatives.

Because of the location, he said the property has been a district concern and so the water district had approached the owners some time ago about buying a portion of it. He said the initial wetland scientist said that the property would support just one dwelling – which was built. The sale never materialized.

“That Zone A B was delineated using computer modeling, but as well all know, computer modeling is not a perfect exact science, so we are concerned having that house just on the other side of the line; we’re a bit worried about having it that close,” Richardson said.


He said nitrogen and phosphorous from lawn fertilizers can become issues.

Bill O’Connor of Longview Partners, representing the owners, said a wetland examination done in the fall of 2020 showed enough upland was available to support the addition of the second lot.

He noted the proposed location of the house is the only place it can go on the lot. “This project is a fairly minor request in terms of wetland alteration totals,” said O’Connor.

Planning board member Richard Smith asked if a third wetland survey should be done, since the two that were done differed.

Board chair Chris MacClinchy said that was not necessary and pointed out the board had walked the property. “We saw the edge of the wetlands; nothing screamed to me that it was bigger,” he said.

Board member Robert Metcalf wondered if the owners would consider an easement to allow the water district to monitor along Branch Brook.


“It doesn’t take anything away from the value of the property – it’s something for you to think about,” Metcalf told the owners.

Abutters Charles Tucker and Cheryl Doane, who live on Maguire Road, expressed concern about Branch Brook, the wetlands and tree removal.

“We bought there knowing there were restrictions,” said Doane. “I don’t understand how there can be a special exception for something that is supposed to be protected.”

In a letter to the planning board, the town’s conservation commission expressed concern that while the proposed home and driveway are in Zone B of the Branch Brook zone, the access road crosses a wetland that runs into the brook, and the pipe from the home to the leach field also crosses the wetland.

Maxime Theriault told the planning board that they applied for the special exception because it met the criteria. She said they had tried to work with the water district on selling the property, but the district stopped responding once the foundation for the first house was installed. Theriault said the is no other location for the driveway for the proposed house.

“We own 7.3 acres (with) one house on it; it’s a loss for us, “ she said, in part.

Richardson said the water district was willing to meet with the owners.

Town Planner Brittany Howard said the matter could be discussed at the Sept 26 planning board meeting.

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