Bill Albair speaks before the Land Use Planning Commission regarding JD Irving's proposal to rezone 51,000 acres of land within the Fish River chain of lakes during a May 22 Public Hearing at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center. Credit: Christopher Bouchard | Aroostook Republican

CARIBOU, Maine — All but one of 15 County residents who gave testimony on May 22 voiced their opposition to J.D. Irving Ltd.’s proposal to rezone 51,000 acres of land within the Fish River chain of lakes during a public hearing hosted by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission.

The public hearing in the packed meeting room at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center began with comments from Irving Land Development Director Anthony Hourihan, who provided a summary of the concept plan, which includes rezoning about 1,923 acres of the 51,000, or roughly 3.7 percent, for development. Of that 1,923, 1,496 acres are proposed for 11 new additional residential lots containing up to 330 units with the remaining 427 going toward four “community/economic development areas.” Another 14,750 acres would be placed into a permanent conservation easement.

“At this phase we aren’t proposing any development,” Hourihan told guests. “We are simply asking the LUPC commission to rezone some areas within this area that would allow for future development.”

He added that, at this point, Irving is primarily concerned with planning future developments, and determining where it “might occur, and what it might look like.”

The Bangor Daily News is pleased to feature content from our sister company, The County. To read the rest of “Public hearing participants overwhelmingly oppose Irving rezoning proposal,” an article by The County staff writer Christopher Bouchard, please follow this link to The County online.