Hansen seeks home in Gorham business park


Developer Hans Hansen signs for a truckload of material for an interior road improvement at his business park in South Gorham.

Hans Hansen reviews plans for the contract zone he is developing in South Gorham. Hansen wants to build a private home for himself at the site.

Developer Hans Hansen is seeking Town Council permission to build a single family home in the rear of his business park at the intersection of County Road (Route 22) and South Street (Route 114) in Gorham.

GORHAM — Developer Hans Hansen is seeking town approval to modify a contract zone at his South Gorham business park allowing him to build a single-family home.

Hansen has staked out a secluded area near a fire pond. “It’s a perfect, quiet spot,” Hansen, 77, said at the site last week.

The business park now is home to a Mercy Hospital facility, Cumberland Farms and Seedlings to Sunflowers daycare center. Hansen’s site is at the intersection of County Road (Route 22) and South Street (Route 114) and is located a short distance from the roundabout at Bernard P. Rines Bypass and South Street.

The Town Council at its regular meeting in August is expected to hear Hansen’s request the board postponed at its July 3 meeting.  “There was confusion the way the item was presented to the council,” Hansen said following last week’s meeting.

Several other lots in Hansen’s contract zone are available for commercial uses.

Hansen’s real estate broker is Town Councilor Sherrie Benner of Berkshire Hathaway.

“I will be presenting to the Town Council that relationship,” Benner said.

Members of the Town Council most likely will decide whether to recuse Benner from the discussion and vote on Hansen’s request for a home.

Several years ago, Hansen did have town approval for several homes to be built at the 24-acre site where he had constructed a farmer’s market that opened in 2002. The homes were not built, and after Hansen retired, he worked with Nathan Bateman of Bateman Partners of Portland, to bring in the Mercy facility. It opened in 2009 at Hansen’s renovated farm market building.

Then, in 2011, Hansen received a contract zone, paving the path for other businesses like Cumberland Farms.

Benner said Monday that the contract zone doesn’t allow residential buildings, and that’s why he is requesting the modification. She said Hansen would place his private home on a back lot and would not look out of place. “It’s his land,” Benner said.

Hansen is looking to build, Benner said, and it would be ridiculous to buy another piece of land.

He described his vision for a home as a New England-style ranch with a two-car garage. “It’s going to be beautiful,” Hansen said.

It would not be connected with infrastructure services to other facilities in the business park. The home would have its own drilled well and septic service.

A modification of Hansen’s contract zone would also be needed to allow a storage facility business that is interested in a lot there. That request will likely also be included on the Town Council’s August agenda.

Benner said a coffee shop also has interest. “It’s a good area,” Benner said, with  high traffic volume.

Businesses allowed in Hansen’s contract zone, Benner said, include funeral homes, business services, retail and convenience stores, restaurants, offices and banks.

The town had a vision for a village type setting in South Gorham and Hansen’s contract zone was the first in a line of other property owners jumping on board for similar deals.

Hansen said this week he also donated to the town a strip of his land adjacent to the South Gorham Cemetery. Bodies had wrongly been buried as early as  the 1800s on  part of the parcel Hansen bought 20 years ago.

Hansen has been busy planting flowers at the business park and last week drove his pickup truck through the park showing improvements. He signed for a dump truck delivery of material to be used to upgrade an interior road in the business park.

He also told of plans to spend $35,000 for repaving Blue Ledge Road that leads into the business park from the traffic signal at the intersection.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com

A Hans Hansen flower bed on Blue Lege Road in South Gorham.