Vote on River Road rezoning postponed pending further answers

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WINDHAM — The Town Council postponed a vote on a request to rezone a portion of a property on River Road because they have questions on the proposal. 

The council was slated to vote Tuesday night on a request from Bryan Mills to rezone part of a nearly 6-acre property he owns on River Road from farm residential to medium-density residential.

The Mills property, between Route 202 and Gambo Road, is now split between the two zones. 

Dustin Roma, an engineering consultant working on the project, said at a council workshop last week that, if granted the rezoning request, the potential development could include an estimated 15 units of multi-family housing on the property. 

Council Chairwoman Donna Chapman said there was a communication from Roma asking that if councilors had questions Tuesday night, they postpone the vote. 

“We received a request from Dustin Roma asking that if anybody had any questions, that we postpone this order because they’re not here to be able to answer them,” Chapman explained. 

“Well, I had questions,” said Councilor Dennis Welch. 

“I think we all did,” Chapman added. 

The council then voted 6-1 to postpone the vote to the Jan. 23 meeting. Councilor Clayton Haskell was the only no vote. He previously expressed reservations about making a zoning change to one property and not applying it to other properties in the area. 

While no one from the public spoke during the public hearing on the rezoning proposal, River Road resident Patrick Corey did speak generally about development in the town during the general public participation period.

Corey, a Republican who represents a portion of Windham in the state House of Representatives, said that he sees growth and its impact on the town as the No. 1  issue in Windham. 

“I noticed that there were two zoning issues in a newspaper article this past week, and while I do not wish to weigh in on either of these projects tonight, as a member of the committee that put together the last comprehensive plan, I’d like to discuss growth, taxes and sustainability here in Windham,” Corey said, noting that he probably has more questions than answers.  

“Currently, Windham is the second fastest growing town in Maine by population growth,” Corey continued. “Is it necessary that we make changes regarding the rezoning parcels of property or allowing variances to accommodate even faster growth?”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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