Signs protesting a planned 30-duplex subdivision on Lancaster Avenue in Bangor. Credit: Lia Russell / BDN

The Bangor planning board approved applications to build two new 60-unit subdivisions on Tuesday night, signing off on the new developments at a time when the city is facing a housing crunch.

Members voted unanimously to approve Hampden developer Nathan Freeman’s application to build the Northbrook Apartments at 870 Broadway, a development that would bring 61, two-story townhouses to undeveloped land across from the studios of the Stephen King-owned Zone Radio Corp.

Members voted to grant Freeman’s application on the condition that the developer construct a left-hand turn lane on Broadway leading into the property. Each unit will have an attached garage.

In addition, the Maine Woods project in Bangor that has drawn coordinated opposition from neighboring residents also received planning board approval.

Both complexes come at a time when Bangor renters and prospective homeowners face low inventory and fierce competition for a limited supply of housing, and the city has a growing homeless population.  

The Maine Woods project, spearheaded by developer Emily Ellis, will include 30 new duplexes on a property off Lancaster Avenue near Essex Woods.

The property sits on a 12-acre field surrounded by a handful of single-family homes that face Essex Street, Lancaster Avenue and East Broadway, according to city records.

The Bangor planning board voted 4-2 Tuesday night to grant Ellis a conditional permit, ending the month-long process that saw dozens of neighboring homeowners object to it in four separate meetings. The developer must install a light-activated crosswalk across Essex Street and sidewalk and meet with city staff before construction begins.

Planning board members also toured the property earlier this month. The board has never had to deliberate four times over one project, vice chair Reese Perkins said.

“This has been exhausting,” he said.

Nearby residents have opposed the project since its inception. They claimed it would overwhelm the neighborhood with an influx of traffic, dilute water pressure and take away their access to an outdoor space where many walk their dogs.

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Sandy McIntosh, who lives on East Broadway, said the project would “disrupt our way of life” because the complex’s size would generate too much noise for a neighborhood of mostly elderly, infirm homeowners.

“I don’t know all the technical parts, but I know common sense, and common sense says you don’t want 200 people living in your backyard,” McIntosh said.

The site is also full of ledge, and blasting would traumatize her white golden retriever, Milly, and her veteran husband, who are both scared of loud noises, she said.

“Am I gonna have to leave because of my husband with PTSD from Vietnam?” McIntosh said. “Where am I going to go? Is the city of Bangor gonna put me up somewhere?”

She and her neighbors didn’t think to purchase the land slated for the subdivision because they didn’t know it was for sale, McIntosh said.

Ellis’ company purchased the land in April from Green Diamond LLC, a company based in Cumberland Foreside, according to city records.

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Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to