Proposed Solar Development – Bauneg Beg Photo: GZA
By: Kendra Williams
Sanford’s Planning Department had a busy year as project proposals continued to come forth right through December. As a result, residents can expect to see many new businesses, expansions and housing projects come to fruition in 2024. Recent actions include the following.
Warehouse Office Building:The Planning Board recently approved an application submitted by TPD Construction LLC for a major site plan to construct a 10,000-square-foot building along with associated site work on property they own on Country Club Road #1. Requested snow storage areas have been added to the plan. The proposed landscaping plan and plantings adequately reflect what is considered a “gateway” to Sanford, the board found. Route 4 is outside the Urban Compact Zone, giving the Maine DOT full jurisdiction over any new driveways. A waiver was granted for the small portion of the parcel that abuts the Rural Residence Zone since the type of lighting is appropriate.
Bauneg Beg Solar: The Planning Board approved a reduction in size and minor site updates to a solar development on property owned by Blueberry Vista, LLC at Sam Allen Road and Pinewood Drive. The approved 2021 project involved the construction of more than 30,000 square feet of a ground‐mounted utility solar array. The applicant now intends to develop 17.3 acres of the 90-acre site. The revised project reduces the array from 5.55 to 1.45 megawatts. As before, the applicant proposes several upgrades to an existing access road that extends from the southern end of Pinewood Drive. Where the road ends at the eastern end of the proposed solar array, two hammerheads are now proposed in this amendment. One is outside the fenced in area and can be used without opening the gate. The other is inside the fenced area and requires keyed access. The turnaround inside the fenced area is meant to provide improved access to the electrical components of the array for maintenance personnel.
Chase Bank: The Site Plan Review Committee approved an application for a minor site plan to replace the existing Burger King building at 1252 Main St. with a new bank building and drive-through. Requirements and suggestions for traffic patterns and drainage were discussed. This portion of Main Street is under a pavement moratorium until July 2025 and disturbance to the pavement with any utility work will need to be avoided.
Nasson Apartments Phase II: An amendment to a major site plan and preliminary major subdivision to construct an 18-unit multifamily building with associated parking and site improvements on property owned by Nasson Development I LLC at 16 Summer St. in Springvale was presented. Concerns related to traffic, expenses for the city raising property taxes, possible destruction of wetlands, flooding, snow storage, soil erosion, light and noise pollution were discussed. The Planning Board approved the amended plan with several requirements. A revised stormwater analysis from Phase I to accommodate the site changes of Phase II must be submitted. It must also show the location of snow storage areas for the new parking lot and the area that was previously designated as snow storage in Phase I. Updated permits from outside agencies must be submitted. Utility plans for proposed utility hookups must be provided prior to final subdivision review.
Sanford Apartments: An application for a major site plan amendment and final major subdivision to construct five new multifamily buildings with associated parking and site improvements for 96 dwelling units was approved by the Planning Board. The property, owned by Lori C. Hayden, is located at the rear portion of 1508 Main St. and is to be combined with 24 and 34 Patriots Lane. The board found that the plan includes sufficient parking and space for dumpsters. The site plan shows the existing trail is to be rerouted on site and some additional paths and crosswalks have been provided to make the area pedestrian friendly. The proposed clubhouse elevation and site plan footprint have been updated to match and will provide an indoor community gathering space for residents. A total site plan to allow for continuity and ease of emergency response, coordinated with the Sanford Fire Department and senior housing, must still be submitted. Patriots Lane is currently under review for city acceptance and should be verified prior to full approval/permitting. One abutter, the par 3 golf course, requested a 7-foot stockade fence instead of a split rail fence. The board asked that the applicant provide a 6-foot stockade fence along the property line until it hits a wet area.
Railroad Avenue and Ridley Road: An application for a new six-lot cluster subdivision on a 16-acre parcel off Railroad Avenue and Ridley Road, on property owned by Thibeault Properties & Investments, LLC. was brought to the Site Plan Review Committee for inventory and analysis, a preliminary step before approval is sought. The project will utilize private subsurface wastewater disposal systems and individual private wells. A shared driveway and utility easement will service two lots on Railroad Avenue and a private way will be constructed to service two of the three proposed lots on Ridley Road. The project is located on the Alfred town line between Railroad Avenue and Ridley Road.
Fletcher Farm I: A preliminary application for a subdivision and private way on property owned by Patterson Companies, LLC and located at Jagger Mill Road was brought to the Site Plan Review Committee. The applicant is requesting preliminary approval to develop parcel R15-79A into a five-lot residential subdivision with associated utilities and stormwater improvements. Parcels 1 and 2 will be accessed by a shared driveway off Jagger Mill Road and lots 3-5 will be accessed via a proposed private way off Jagger Mill Road. The applicant was asked to update the subdivision plan and/or submit a private way plan to show the proposed private way and corresponding engineering details; submit documentation of a solid waste removal plan; update the Home Owners Association and easement language to account for all necessary cross-access easements and shared responsibilities of owners; provide sufficient pedestrian circulation to allow for safe access to the bus stop and to address the Sanford Fire Department’s concern about emergency access for proposed parcels 4 and 5.
Other Planning News
Mercy Chapel: An application to expand the parking lot, add stormwater infrastructure, site lighting, dedicated playground space and landscaping at their 1861 Main St. location was approved by the Planning Board. Access for emergency vehicles is to be maintained and an updated site plan to show lot coverage calculations and a planting schedule is required.
Residential Development Zone Land Use Table Updates
Because of LD 2003, the city combined the Single-Family Residential Zone into the Residential Development Zone. Sanford’s Land Use Tables designate what uses are allowed in each zone. Some uses were allowed in the RD zone but not in the SFR zone and vice versa. A use can be Permitted (P), Permitted with Review (PR) or Conditional Use (CU). CU shows conditions that must be met for approval.
The Planning Board looked at 19 uses that were in conflict. They reviewed and discussed ordinance changes to comply with LD 2003 and passed it on to the City Council, recommending adoption. The City Council can adopt it as is or make changes.