Hearing set for largest subdivision in Bethel


BETHEL – A Bethel land development company that created the largest subdivision in Bethel in 2004, has proposed topping that with another that’s almost twice as big.

Bethel planners will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, on Savage Land Development LLC’s Timber Creek project, a 59-lot single-family residential subdivision to be located at the base of Farwell Mountain on 138 acres off Osgood Road. Osgood Road is off Intervale Road about two miles east of Bethel Village.

“It’s a nice wooded hillside with views of (Sunday River Ski Resort) slopes, which is quite nice,” Savage Land Development President Ron Savage said by phone Saturday night in Bethel.

He and his brother, Rick Savage, formed the company in October 2003 when they merged their separate businesses: Ronald Savage Construction and Rick Savage Excavation.

In 2004, they gained approval on Birch Woods, a 31-lot subdivision off Mayville Road, also called Route 2. It is about a third of the way built out, Ron Savage said.

At the same time Birch Woods was introduced, they also sought and gained approval for Countryside Acres, a 17-lot subdivision on East Bethel Road.

“Countryside and Birch Woods sold out in less than a year,” Ron Savage said.

Currently, new houses in Bethel are going for between $170,000 to $635,000, and, he added, $1 million houses are being built.

That’s why Savage said they’re trying to keep lot prices reasonable – in the the $45,000 to $99,000 range – to fill a niche they believe exists. So far, that strategy is paying off.

“For Birch Woods, we had more buyers than lots. Right now, we’ve got 20 people on a waiting list,” he added.

The Savages next big project will be to develop several acres they’ve purchased beside the Bethel Inn and Country Club’s championship golf course. In 2004, they originally planned to develop 30 acres, but held off to buy more land and do one big subdivision, Ron Savage said.

Regarding the Timber Creek project, Savage Land Development bought the former MeadWestvaco Corp. woodlot on Aug. 6, 2004, from Bayroot LLC, a Delaware company operating in Lyme, N.H.

Lot sizes will range from one to five acres, and each lot will be accessed by one of two non-connecting, single-entrance private roads.

The company plans to construct 1.3 miles of new road, estimated at $197,000. Houses to be built on the lots are limited to two stories, with individual drilled wells and septic systems.

The lots cannot be further subdivided, and no businesses or commercial activities will be allowed. Dogs and cats will be welcome pets, but not roosters, horses or swine, according to plan documents.

Timber Creek is undergoing review by Bethel planners and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Bethel planners first reviewed it on Dec. 13 when it was presented by Savage Land Development’s agent, Bob Berry of Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. of Livermore Falls. The application was found to be complete.

Planners, who conducted a site walk on the property in mid December, will continue work on the proposal at their 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday after the public hearing.