WELLS (Maine) — A new golf course is no longer part of the Burnt Mill Estates plans. Are there any other plans for the site’s future?
During a meeting this week, a resident asked Mathew Orr of Sebago Technics or the Wells Planning Board to answer that question.
The resident stated that communication was a bit weak.
Orr said that Burnt Mill Holding Company had only submitted one aspect of its application to the board, and that it was the official removal of the golf course. The Maine-New Hampshire border is just a few miles from the town of Wells, which is located near Kennebunkport.
announcing that the development would include Burnt Mill Country Club was made nearly two decades ago. This 18-hole, 7,200-yard golf course will be the second creation of the design team of Brad Faxon (8-time PGA Tour winner) and Brad Booth (golf architect). A 9-hole par 3-short course, a practice area, and a 12,000 square foot clubhouse were also planned for the complex. ft. clubhouse.
Orr confirmed that while the proposal for the golf course has been dropped, the plan to build 174 dwelling units on 362 acres along Hobbs Farm Road, has not changed.
Orr stated that any changes to amenities or similar would be made as part of the larger residential project. This is not before the board tonight.
Charles Millian, Chair of the Planning Board, pressed Orr to go further.
Millian asked, “So aren’t you telling us that there could be future residential development there?” Orr answered, “I’m not aware at the moment.”
Mike Livingston, Town Engineer, stated Wednesday that other amenities originally planned in the area of golf course are being consolidated in a separate plan amendment in order to redesign the development.
The future of land once used for 18 holes was not the only concern at the Oct. 31 Planning Board meeting. The board also had concerns about the proposed walkway and drainage. It was so serious that the members unanimously decided to go on another site walk.
Millian stated, “We really must go out there.”
Next Saturday, November 12, at 9 a.m., the board members will be taking a site walk on Hobbs Farm Road. The public is welcome to attend.
Residents are concerned about drainage and walkways
The route that a new walkway will be constructed is what the Board wants to see. Mike Livingston, Town Engineer, stated that the walkway would begin on the northeastern side of Hobbs Farm Road. It would then continue past Little Meadow Court. Once it reaches Lot 54 (near Cider Press Lane), on the town map, the path will switch sides. The walkway would then continue along that side all the way to the bridge.
A resident asked why the walkway was proposed to cross Hobbs Farm Road at one point. This is especially important considering that there are 174 new homes planned for the area.
The resident stated that it was not a good idea to have people cross the road at 35 mph. It just sounds like an astronomical amount future traffic going down a narrow, 2-lane country road.
Livingston said that originally the walkway was built to accommodate the golf course. Livingston responded to questions about the traffic study of the Burnt Mill Estates site. Livingston said that two studies had been completed for that project in 2008 and 2015. The first included 85 dwelling units and the golf course. The second was done in 2015.
Livingston stated that safety was one reason why the Planning Board demanded that the walkway be included in the project back when it began in 2015.
Hobbs Farm Road currently measures 21 to 22 feet in width, is paved and has a slight gravel shoulder. Livingston claims that the proposed walkway is in the deeds for the property owners.
Livingston stated that the road has approximately 10-12 feet of public right–of-way along it, and a 10-foot easement. These land are either owned by the town, or covered by the easement of the developer. Livingston stated that homes were built near the setback in front of their yards.
Livingston stated, “I believe one of the biggest misconceptions is that people who purchased these lots think they own the edge of the pavement.” They don’t.
Planning Board members will also be on hand to examine new drainage measures that are being considered for the project in order to reduce stormwater pooling. The board will inspect a site that is being considered for a detention pool near one homeowner.
The homeowner was concerned that the pond might encroach on his yard and get closer to his deck, where he and his wife love to relax and grill burgers. As an alternative to a larger pond, he suggested that grading be used. He stated that the proposed pond would alter and limit his property’s use.
He said, “We are opposed to that.”
Residents voiced their concerns at a public hearing, which took place before the Burnt Mill Estates workshop. Residents also sent emails to the board, expressing similar concerns about property lines, the proposed walkway, tree removal, and communication.
Livingston, Shannon Belanger, Assistant Planner Shannon Belanger and Jo-Ann Putnam are part of the town’s staff review committee. They will be focusing their attention on the project after the Planning Board has completed its site walk.