Pictured, from left, are Carol Eyerman, town planner; Vincent Grassi, Planning Board chair; Bill Benson, vice chair; and board members David Burrows, Russell Frank and David Walsh. Not pictured are Rob Delaney and Jim Hager. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The first phase of the large Gorham housing development proposed for Robie Street moved ahead Monday with unanimous Planning Board preliminary approval.

KV Enterprises developers Kendrick Ballantyne and Vincent Maietta hope to begin construction this spring on 43 single-family homes in the initial phase of a planned mix of 96 homes and 295 multifamily units.

The board’s vote on final approval on the first phase will not require council approval.

The project is proposed for a high growth area with principal access from Robie Street and Bramblewood Lane. An additional connection to White Birch Lane appears on the latest plans.

Developers need the Town Council’s permission to build a road on town-owned property behind Village School to reach White Birch Lane, a short residential street, as an outlet to New Portland Road. The added access would allow a third entry point that would serve construction traffic entry into the development.

“White Birch Lane is a big, black hole right now,” Planning Board member Jim Hager said, referring to the question of access.


KV Enterprises has submitted a letter and their latest plans that include the White Birch Lane connector to Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak, according to Community Development Director Tom Poirier. Poirier encouraged Planning Board Chair Vincent Grassi to also submit a letter about seeking the possible access to White Birch Lane.

The Town Council could decide on the easement next month. Planning Board Vice Chair Bill Benson said he would be concerned if the White Birch Lane connection did not materialize.

Town officials added a one-way vehicle connection to the dead-end Ridgeway Avenue that would allow traffic to enter the development but not exit onto Ridgeway.

The developers are seeking a contract zone to increase the pace of buildout from 10 units a year allowed under the existing growth ordinance to 15. The contract zone is under separate Planning Board review and could be discussed at a meeting later this month. A contract zone would also require Town Council action.

Neighbors have aired concerns about construction traffic, impact on neighborhood character, tree removal and access. Several abutters and neighbors attended this week’s meeting, but there was no public comment period.

The project is proposed for a 131-acre tract, and 51 acres of it off New Portland Road would be conserved. An open space plan will be outlined in future project phases.

The Planning Board Monday also unanimously approved Shaw Brothers plans to expand ledge excavation at their Brickyard Quarry on Mosher Road.

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