KV Enterprises has proposed a large development of single-family homes and apartments off Robie Street in Gorham. Contributed / Town of Gorham

A huge development with 96 single-family homes and 295 multi-tenant units in 12 buildings proposed for Gorham Village is fueling tensions about traffic, school overcrowding and other impacts on current residents.

The development, still in the preliminary planning stages, would be built in five phases on a 133-acre site off Robie Street in the Narragansett Game Preserve. Fifty-one acres would be preserved as open space.

The Town Council last week voted 4-3 to pass a proposed contract zone that would allow greater density for the project to the Planning Board for approval. The Planning Board Monday heard from developers some of the details of the project’s first phase.

Councilor Suzanne Phillips, who with Councilors Lee Pratt and Phil Gagnon voted against the contract zone, said that while the town does need some housing in the village, it is in no way capable of handling such a large residential development.

“The town is absolutely not ready for it. We can barely deal with the residential growth we have now,” Phillips said.

The town already has issues with pedestrian safety, speeding and parking in the village that need to be addressed “before we can go ahead with a project like this,” Phillips said.


Kemp Road resident Terry Webber told the council the development would necessitate a new high school costing $100 million or more at a time when the town budget is already “escalating out of control.”

“The project this massive in our small town will directly impact the lives of Gorham residents,” Webber said.

The first phase of the project calls for 43 single-family homes on 80-by-107-foot lots served by public water and sewer, according to a plan developer KV Enterprises presented to the Planning Board Monday. KV Enterprises’ Vincent Maietta and Kendrick Ballantyne, a 2002 Gorham High School graduate, both attended the meeting.

The large parcel near the Village Elementary School would be accessed off Robie Street and Bramblewood Lane, both of which link to South Street (Route 114). Residents told the Planning Board they were concerned about increased traffic through existing neighborhoods and the weight of construction vehicles damaging streets.

“My neighborhood has been tense about it,” said Peggy Marchand, who lives on South Street.

Justin Earley, a Robie Street resident, said the development could add 800 cars to the area and the surface of Robie Street is already “crappy” now.


Ken Curtis of South Street also cited traffic issues and said some trees on Robie Street would need to be removed to make way for sidewalks.

Resident Sue Robie of Robie Street in a letter to the Planning Board advocated for an outlet from the development to New Portland Road to ease traffic.

White Birch Lane, a short residential street that intersects with New Portland Road, leads to a town-owned parking lot and baseball field behind Village School. Planning Board member David Walsh asked for more information about a connection to White Birch Lane. Shawn Frank of Sebago Technics, which is working with the developers, said the White Birch Lane connection would be better for construction vehicles, too. It isn’t in the Phase 1 plans because the developer doesn’t have right-of-way access to it, he said.

The contract zone approved by the council last week would not impact the first phase of the project. For subsequent phases, the number of single-family homes built in a year would be capped at 15, but if fewer than that are built in a year, the remaining allotment could be carried over to next year. Multi-family phased development “shall occur separately and each phase will take two years to construct,” according to proposed language.

The council also wants one of the phases of multi-family development reserved for ages 55 and older.

The Planning Board will send its recommendations for a contract zone back to the council, which will have the final say. Even with a contract zone agreement, each phase of the project will require Planning Board approval.

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