The White Birch Lane intersection with New Portland Road in Gorham. File photo

Gorham took the first step Monday to extend the dead end White Birch Lane to serve as an added entrance primarily for construction traffic into a large housing development proposed off Robie Street in the village.

The Town Council in this week’s special meeting voted 5-2, with board Chair Suzanne Phillips and Councilor Phil Gagnon opposed, to lengthening the street on town-owned property. The Town Council’s intentions will now go to a public hearing.

Gagnon called the proposed extension “gifting” and said townspeople would be providing access without benefit.

White Birch Lane is a quiet and short residential street that leads from New Portland Road to an athletic field and parking lot behind Village Elementary School on Robie Street.

Ruth Kelly, who lives at the corner of White Birch Lane and New Portland Road, said it’s not a good place for an access road. “It’s a bad place traffic wise,” Kelly told councilors.

Monday’s discussion centered on White Birch Lane and not the subdivision, Phillips said.


Vincent Maietta and partner Kendrick Ballantyne of developer KV Enterprises has Planning Board preliminary approval for 43 single-family homes in the first phase of a 391-unit development. Maietta said the extension of White Birch Lane, costing $500,000, is not needed for Phase 1.

Maietta said KV Enterprises would like to build the lane extension in Phase 2 but the Planning Board is seeking it for Phase 1 and citizens want construction traffic spread out from Robie Street, Ridgeway Avenue and Bramblewood Lane entrances into the proposed development.

The majority of the heavy construction traffic would enter the development over White Birch Lane.

In return for extending White Birch Lane, councilors want the athletic field parking lot paved, improvements on White Birch Lane to include traffic calming measures to reduce cut-through traffic, and eight-foot wide sidewalks to New Portland Road.

Gagnon wanted the board’s White Birch Lane decision tabled. “It’s time to kick it down the road,” if you’re uncomfortable with it, Gagnon said. “Nobody is in a rush.”

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