A rendering of the 121-unit condominium subdivision proposed for the David property in York Village. Credit: Submitted photo courtesy of The York Weekly

YORK, Maine — The Planning Board at its recent meeting began slogging through the voluminous application to develop the 110-acre Davis property in York Village, as well as a 17-page review of that proposal written by town contract planners.

At the end of 3.5-hour meeting, the board was about halfway through its review of the 121-unit condominium subdivision proposal and had not yet discussed probably the biggest hot-button issue — traffic. The board was also not even close to reaching the public comment portion of the meeting. The 20 or so residents in attendance were assured that their comments would be the first order of business when the board meets again on the application Oct. 25.

The application before the board is the third iteration of the project put forth by the Mary McIntire Davis Trust, comprised of the late Mary Davis’ family members. The land is bounded by York Street, the Village Elementary School field, the backyards of homes on Raydon Road and Donica Road, First Parish Cemetery land, and Little River Drive. Little River runs through the property.

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The current and final plan is now before the board, which has accepted the application for preliminary review. Once that vote was taken, it set in motion a formal series of actions. Prior iterations had been “sketch plans” — very early plans to get the take of the board and make adjustments.

The McIntire Woods subdivision, as it will be called, is in essentially three parts. Mary Davis’ son Jim owns his mother’s house on York Street and enough land for five additional single-family lots, said Thomas Greer of Walsh Engineering Associates, who has been hired by the Trust.

The units on the remaining acreage will be built under the town’s condominium ordinance, not its subdivision ordinance, because it allows for greater density of units. The land will be managed by a condominium association. Plans call for 53 single family homes as part of the condominium project, 21 townhouse style homes in six buildings, and 40 bungalow-type homes in four-unit buildings.

It will be built, “as market forces allow,” said Greer, in two phases, with single family homes in phase 1 closer to York Street built first, and the remainder in phase 2 at the back of the property.

Entrances are planned for York Street and Raydon Road, coming out just east of the Donica Road entrance in what is now a wooded area. In addition, there will be a roundabout between the two sections in the development, which Greer said should calm traffic. There will be a sidewalk and benches around it to also provide a place for residents to walk, he said.

Some 58 percent of the land is not being developed, but the parcels are not contiguous. The largest undeveloped parcel is due to a vernal pool which requires setbacks around it.

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Other points that came up at the meeting include the following:

— 40 units will be set aside as 55 and over; the remainder would be market rate units. “The Davis family is very in tune with minimizing impacts to town, and over 55 would do that,” said Greer.

— There are about 400 trees on the entire parcel, said Greer. Of those, 301 will be saved, to give the property a wooded feel, he said.

— The soil on much of the property is “shallow bedrock,” Green said. As a result, blasting will need to occur. All homes within 500 feet of the blasting area — likely all of Donica Road and some of Raydon Road and York Street — will be notified in advance, he said. The builder will take before and after photos inside the house with the homeowner’s permission.

— Plans call for a playground to be built on land contiguous to the VES ballfield, with the trust also picking up the cost of installing cement pads around the field that would act as the base for bleachers. Planning Board members suggested that the condo association may not want the liability, but said either the Parks and Recreation Department or the school department might be interested in being a partner.

— New natural trails will be created to match those that now extend through the property but will be disturbed. The new trails will make a loop around the Phase 2 portion of the project, said Greer. No ATVs or motorbikes would be allowed. The public will have access to them, as long as they are respectful of the land, he said.

— Stormwater management includes a wet pond at the back of the property as well as soil filters and tree filters. This plan will be subject to approval by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

— The project still needs approval from the Historic District Commission, which Greer said has had the completed plans for several months. He said he’s hoping to come before them soon. Town Planner Dylan Smith recommended that the board see the HDC approval before giving preliminary approval to the overall plan.

— Board member Kathleen Kluger asked about having language in the plan restricting short-term rentals. “That would be the choice of the Davis family,” said Greer.

— Lew Stowe asked if any of the units were going to be affordable housing. Greer said that there will be a range of sizes of the units and so a range of prices, but “the trust has made it very clear that we’re not putting affordable units in here. It will be market driven.”

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