Pheasant Knoll expansion raises neighbors' concerns

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Ridgefield Drive resident Richard Caldwell, president of the owner's  association, right, talks about future plans for expansion of the Pheasant Knoll condominium developement after Monday's Planning Board meeting in Gorham.

Ridgefield Drive resident Richard Caldwell, president of the owner’s  association, right, talks about future plans for expansion of the Pheasant Knoll condominium developement after Monday’s Planning Board meeting in Gorham.

Robert Georgitis, vice president of Kasprzak Landholdings & Homes Inc., discusses Monday with the Planning Board his firm’s plans to expand its Pheasant Knoll development by 120 dwelling units in 60 buildings.

GORHAM — A proposed expansion of the Pheasant Knoll Condominium development for senior citizens off Fort Hill Road is raising worries of residents in the Ridgefield Drive area.

Kasprzak Landholdings & Homes Inc. is proposing an additional 120 units with 60 buildings in the 77-acre Pheasant Knoll development. Robert Georgitis, company vice president, discussed the proposed expansion at the Planning Board Monday.

Tom Poirier, town planner, said the project has been approved for a contract zone that restrict’s residents to age 55 and over. “It’s very preliminary,” Poirier said about expansion. “No official application yet.”

Georgitis said the main access into the expansion would be the existing Falcon Crest Drive, a public road into the Pheasant Knoll development from Fort Hill Road (Route 114). Monday’s talk of the proposed expansion brought out numerous residents concerned about additional, potential traffic on the private Ridgefield Drive in the development.

Ridgefield Drive resident Richard Caldwell, president of the homeowners’ association, told planners Ridgefield is not a town road. “We’ve got quite a group here tonight,” Caldwell said. “We are responsible for Ridgefield Drive,” Caldwell said. “We take care of it. We don’t want extra traffic.”

John Lavin of 56 Ridgefield asked about road standards and town codes. Poirier responded that roads in the developement would have to meet standards set by the Planning Board.

There will be multiple opportunities for public input. “It’ll be coming to the board a number of times,” Planning Board Chairman Edward Zelmanow said.

Georgitis expected the approval process involving the Planning Board and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to take a year. Responding to a question from Zelmanow, Georgitis predicted another real estate recession and that buildout could take 10 years.

The expansion plan in 2015 was revamped from 140 units in 35 additional buildings . Plans for four-unit buildings have been revised for two-unit buildings.The contract zone allows for up to a total of 228 units in the development.

Under the contract zone conditions, Kasprzak upgraded the sewer pumping station at the nearby University of Southern Maine and built a sidewalk along Fort Hill Road.

The latest expansion plans call for private interior roads, street lights, sidewalks and clustered mailboxes.

Georgitis also said the company has been looking at utilizing solar power and heat pumps to provide heating and cooling.

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