NEWRY — Planning Board members visited a 7.9-acre parcel off Mountain View Road on  Wednesday night to learn where a new road extension will be built to access three planned lots.

The board then met at the Newry Town Office to consider George J. Kelly and Diane Whitten’s Mountainside Homes subdivision project, but found its application incomplete.

Some of the outstanding issues involved the budget, confirmation of recommended drainage changes; fire protection and suppression methods, as well as a future maintenance plan; possible deed restrictions; relation of the road extension to Lot No. 4’s septic system; and confirmation that the extension of Mountain View Road will be built to town standards.

Kelly and Whitten were represented by Rick Dunton, a project manager for Main-Land Development Consultants of Livermore Falls.

Dunton initially led Planning Board members, abutter Paula Gross and Realtor Susan DuPlessis on a site visit of the property and a walk through the woods to help them see where the road is being extended. Gross wanted to know where it was going across the property. Mountain View Road currently ends in a cul-de-sac in front of her house and property.

She had plenty of objections.


“We built this house in 1998,” Gross said of the house belonging to her and her husband. “There were still lots that were available in 1998 that are still for sale today. So why are they clearing more woods?

“Environmentally, for a Maine town, we are just not ecologically minded, which is really sad,” Gross said.

She said Kelly bought the house diagonally from her lot, but doesn’t live in it. She said that when the house was finished, she saw him there for two weeks. Since then, he’s rented it out all season, she said.

“He’s in it for a business, but he has nothing to do with (Sunday River Ski Resort), and meanwhile, they don’t allow the development of businesses here, because of the atmosphere of a small town, yet they’re destroying woods all through the town,” Gross said.

“I wouldn’t mind if they gave them permission and said you can do something with the house. But to clear it and let land stay vacant for years and years and years — that makes no sense.”

Gross said there are many vacant lots throughout Newry and houses still for sale.


“The realtor that just sold my house told me there are 20 years worth of vacant lots in town,” Gross said of DuPlessis.

She said Les Otten’s development, The Colony, located on Sunday River Road, has a house that is still vacant despite being on the market for years at more than $1 million.

“When we looked at it, it had been standing vacant for so long that the deck needed replacement, and now the siding needs replacing,” she said.

“So nothing is selling. We were told that our house, which sold three weeks ago, was the second house to sell in Newry in 2014. So if the market is dead, why are they doing this?”

Gross also said she doesn’t want to see the local, plentiful wildlife disturbed. She said they have plenty of moose coming through their yard as well as deer, red fox, ring-necked pheasants, a coyote, birds galore, bears and a family of wild turkeys.

“To destroy that wood land doesn’t make sense,” Gross said. “It’s not in the best interest of the community.”


Planning Board Chairman Pat Roma said that if a developer wants to subdivide property and has the money to do it, they can. There isn’t anything stopping them.

He and Vice Chairman David Walker said the board won’t hold a public hearing on the project because it was viewed as unnecessary after notifying abutters.

Roma said Kelly and Whitten purchased a parcel and added it to their lot, and then decided to subdivide the property into four lots, including their lot.

The board will continue to discuss the project at its next meeting in June.

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