LEWISTON — A local landlord’s effort to repeal a City Council decision and terminate a downtown housing development picked up enough signatures to get a public vote.

Assistant City Clerk Erica Soiett said landlord Stanley Pelletier’s petition to stop property owner Phyllis St. Laurent from rebuilding 29 units of low-income rental housing collected more than 900 signatures. The petition needed 859 valid signatures to be successful.

“There are still more signatures they collected but we didn’t verify them,” Soiett said. “They were not necessary once we hit that number.”

Now the matter goes back to city councilors. City Administrator Ed Barrett said councilors can decide to rescind their initial decision or keep it and send it along to voters.

“Obviously, we have to go to the council and see how they want to proceed,” he said. “I assume, if they want to proceed, they would look to have it go on the November ballot. They could call a special election, but I don’t see any interest in doing that.”

St. Laurent’s buildings, at 149 Bartlett St., and 110 and 114 Pierce St., were a few of those destroyed in a rash of fires downtown in May 2013. She hopes to replace the units lost with a single development of 29 units of single-bedroom units, two-bedroom units and larger apartments.


St. Laurent is working with the Developer’s Collaborative, a group that has built projects in Lewiston before. It would be a $5 million project with subsidized rents and federal Section 8 housing vouchers tied to the development. The project would be aimed at families making 60 percent of the median income — about $33,700 for a family of four.

Jim Hatch of the Developers Collaborative said he still feels the project is a good one and thinks it has a future.

“So I don’t think this changes our plans. We will continue to move forward,” he said. “We think our primary plan is a popular one in the community and will prevail at the polls. And we are also going to look to alternative ways to get the project done if it does not prevail. One way or another, we are going to do this.”

Pelletier said he objected to using public money to support downtown housing.

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