Workshop slated on Camelot Farms development

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PORTLAND — A major housing development bordering Westbrook will be discussed at a Planning Board workshop Thursday at City Hall.

Camelot Holdings, represented by Michael Barton, on April 6 will present revised plans for the redevelopment of the former Camelot Farm, where Peter and Mary Rogers raised almost all their 11 children more than 50 years ago.

The land went on the market in 2015 with an asking price of $2.4 million.

Barton and his partners are seeking a zoning change to allow greater housing density on the land, and have purchased land next door at 1714 Westbrook St. as well. The revised plan also eliminates the possibility of a Flexible Housing Zone, a provision created after World War II to allow manufactured housing on lots.

A full site plan has not been created, but developers are hoping for 96 lots for single-family homes on the 45-acre former farm, and Barton said the land next door could be used for a mix of housing.

Barton said some of the land between the former farm and the Maine Turnpike will be conveyed to the city or Portland Trails for access to the Stroudwater River. Draft plans for developing Camelot Farm also preserves 17 acres of open space leading to the river.

The board will be considering the zoning change request only, as opposed to a site plan, but after workshops in January and February, opposition to the zoning change was strong.

Stroudwater residents and the Stroudwater Village Association Board of Directors have asked the Planning Board not to recommend the zoning change to the City Council, which is required to approve it.

In a Feb. 28 email to the Planning Board, SVA board members objected to a piecemeal approach to rezoning in the area. The board prefers a wider land use study, because the current approach has resulted in the rezoning of land at 1945 Congress St. for office buildings at the site of the Portland Elks Club and a nearby Verizon Wireless telecommunications facility.

The SVA and neighbors are also worried about potential traffic volume in a new subdivision of single-family homes, and whether developers can carry out the full project.

Barton said the revisions in the zoning change request reflect the points brought up, and he is also working with Metro to see if more public transportation can be added to serve a development.

“We’ve been letting the process present itself as it unfolds,” he said. “We are hopeful with the takeaway from the first two workshops, we have it boiled down to a couple of things the new plans address.”

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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