A proposed development promising to bring much-needed housing to Kittery and Portsmouth is now on hold. Credit: Courtesy of Dennett Landing LLC / CBS 13

A proposed development promising to bring much-needed housing to Kittery and Portsmouth is now on hold.

Opponents said it’s too much growth, too fast.

The proposed Dennett Landing development, on the west side of Kittery, is at risk of a major zoning change, one that could dramatically alter the size and scale of the project.

The $300 million project calls for 900 housing units on 82 acres between Route 236 and Dennett Road, townhomes and apartments that could increase Kittery’s population from 10,000 to 12,000.

“I would imagine that’s going to be at least 2,000 people, at least 2,000,” said Mike Curry, who lives a half-mile from the proposed development and thinks the project is too big.

“This was a little bit more grand than we might have hoped for,” Curry said. “I haven’t seen anything that says they’re going to add more police, more schools, more hospital area.”

Dennett Landing developers said what the project will do is bring much-needed housing to Greater Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to help fill all the jobs and opportunities in the area.

“Portsmouth is growing,” Dennett Landing developer Sheila Grant said. “You’ve got the naval shipyard. And there’s a need for housing in this area. We’re going to have apartments. We’re going to have townhouses, condos. And it’s going to be at different price points.”

The project also calls for shops, restaurants, a day care center, assisted living facility and more.

“We would love other people to be able to live in Kittery, just not at these costs to the environment, to the education system, to the infrastructure in Kittery,” said Lia Bensley, who petitioned against Dennett Landing.

Bensley helped get enough signatures to call for a zoning change that would prevent the 900 units from being built.

“The town and the developers have no good answers,” Bensley said. “Every teacher I’ve talked to is terrified about the impact of even just five more kids in their classroom.”

In a week, Kittery will hold a public hearing on Dennett Landing.

The Town Council can either agree to enact the zoning change or call a special election to let voters decide.