Waterville Planning Board Approves Changes to College Avenue Housing Project

WATERVILLE — The planning board on Tuesday approved minor changes to a previously approved site plan for Manor Gardens, a 23-unit multifamily development at 54 College Ave.

The 5-0 vote followed an explanation from Michael Curran, a partner of Arcon Realty, the developer, that three units are being removed from the cost-cutting plan.

Another change is that Arcon is increasing the footprint of one of the buildings by 100 square feet. Additionally, trash cans will be removed from the top of a parking lot to make way for snow removal, according to Curran.

The board on Aug. 9 approved Arcon Realty’s plans for a 23-unit multifamily complex on the site, which for many years was John Martin’s mansion. Arcon demolished the old restaurant earlier this year.

Arcon Realty is owned by Arthur Turmelle and his family, including Curran, his son-in-law. For many years, the Turmelles have owned, redeveloped and operated dozens of rental properties in the north end of the city.

The 30,000 square foot building located at 54 College Ave. closed its doors in 2007 after 30 years of activity. It was owned by Peter Martin, who grew up in the business with his father, John, who opened it in 1977.

On other matters Tuesday, council voted 5-0 (members Hilary Koch and Bruce White were absent) to approve a request by Jeff Karter to rezone 287 and 289 Main St. from Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A and Residential-C, respectively. , to a new contract zoned district.

Karter, whose business, Waterville Florist & Formal Wear, is located on Main Street, said he was applying for a bank loan to combine two parking lots and improve the aesthetics of that section of the street. Town planner Ann Beverage said the bank had applied for rezoning to allow more uses in this area. From now on, the only authorized use is the florist.

“It gives better security for the loan,” Beverage said.

This strip of Main Street includes both commercial and residential properties. Council chairwoman Samantha Burdick said she believes that instead of contracting the zoning of each property along this strip one by one, the city should examine the area more thoroughly.

“It doesn’t make much sense to me to keep zoning this contract,” she said.

Karter said he agreed with Burdick, adding that it would be easier for people to buy a building and fix it. And it would be easier for the seller, he says.

Council decided to recommend to City Council that Karter’s rezoning application be approved, but to consider a more comprehensive rezoning for Main Street from Hillside Avenue to High Street to allow for more uses in this area. bandaged.

Council member David Johnson recommended asking the Waterville Housing Committee for advice on changing this section of Main Street to a new transition zone that would apply to both sides of the street.

In a separate matter, Randy Butler of Dirigo Engineering informed council of L/A Properties’ plans to develop a five-lot development at 200 Eight Rod Road and a 6-lot development at Webb Road. The board postponed consideration of final plans for both until September 27.

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