NEW GLOUCESTER — At a workshop to address a core area of the town’s multiuse Upper Village, 25 residents spent the morning brainstorming in small groups on the merits of two possible solutions to guide the town’s growth.

This was the second in a three-part series of planning workshops to help shape the future growth and development in the Upper Village, town planner Paul First said.

The area includes a section of Route 100 at the intersection of Upper Village Street and Peacock Hill Road, where the town garage, two gas stations, a day care center and an office facility are located. Land to the east of Route 100 includes McCann Fabrication, Mario’s Restaurant and the future home of the New Gloucester Veterans Park, as well as several other business establishments and residences.

Two plans include one developed by the New Gloucester Land Management Planning Committee and the other by resident Terrence DeWan, a prominent landscape architect, First said.

Nineteen participants approved the concept of the DeWan plan; one favored the LMPC plan and three participants were undecided.

The DeWan plan remedies the intersections at Route 100, Peacock Hill Road and Upper Gloucester Street into 90-degree intersections. The plan also allows for greater connectivity for foot traffic and includes a village green buffer away from the western side of Route 100. Traffic-calming solutions have also been discussed, participant Leo Credit of New Gloucester said.

An important issue that needs to be addressed is the possibility of installing a light so that Route 100 can be crossed safely, he said.

The DeWan plan was considered aesthetically pleasing and safer, while the LMPC plan was considered unsafe, failing to address the non-right-angle intersections onto Route 100 from either Upper Gloucester Street or Peacock Hill Road.

By majority, the group favored tearing down the Town Garage and recycling, if possible, components of the sand/salt shed to build a new garage at the Fire Department’s 25 acres on Route 100.

Steve Chandler spoke for his group’s preference to the DeWan plan to acquire for purchase the former Natalie Parsons Estate land near the Town Garage.

This would allow for trail development, septic fields and parking for the future, and would provide Link’s Variety with more room that might help move the pumps or tanks. A storage building used for the Town Garage could be used by the town’s Recreation Department.

“Until we have a vision to know what we have to create, then we will be able to take tools out of the toolbox and get zoning and whatever we want put into place,” First said.

The next planning workshop is slated for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Amvets Hall on Route 100.


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