We aren’t doing anyone a favor with the 107-unit Drowne Road project.

If you are elderly or work in Cumberland and you look at this project as an opportunity to live where you work or where you grew up, don’t bet on it. The state and federal regulations applicable to this project prohibit local preferences.

If you are looking for local commercial infrastructure, everything is a drive from this location. If you drive to work, there may not be enough parking for your car, and if you work in Portland, you’ll be driving 20-plus miles per day and driving for all your other goods and services (except voting and car registration).

And what do you get for it? Your family will live with 34 other families in one three-story walk-up with no terraces, decks or balconies. Your view will be the other two similar sized three-story walk-ups.

There are plenty of folks in Cumberland with open minds and hearts who want to afford other folks a fair chance at getting a foothold in Cumberland and becoming part of the town. This Drowne Road Project is not the way to fulfill that desire.

At the time the town finished the Cumberland Meadows, some imagination was employed. There were yards, patios and decks, with one- and two-story residences. Can’t we use a little imagination today? Do we really want to build three giant buildings and stuff 107 families into them?

The Drowne Road project is designed to favor economy over sound suburban residential planning and design. With some imagination, we could put together something to be proud of. Moreover, as the town owns this land, the town could undertake the project and retain the discretion to afford some local preferences (we do have a housing authority).

Charles Graham

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