AUBURN — A plan to change future land use plans for a Danville Junction lot are simply about correcting a four-year-old mistake, planner Doug Greene told city councilors Monday night.

“It’s been a little bit of a detective mystery to figure out why this inconsistency existed,” Greene said Monday. “After as much research as we could come up with and interviews, it’s our conclusion that we can change the future land use plan for this parcel. We feel it is a mapping error on the land use plan.”

The 56.6-acre lot south of Danville Corner Road and east of Old Danville Road is zoned for Low Density Rural Residential development, which allows single-family dwellings, duplexes and mobile homes. It allows one dwelling unit per acre.

The city’s comprehensive plan recommends that the city someday change the parcel to the more restrictive Agricultural and Resource protection. That zoning allows only one dwelling for every 10 acres.

Greene said there is not a development proposal in the works, but local developers Bouffard and McFarland have purchased the lot and approached the city saying they are interested.

While zoning might allow up to 56 new dwelling units, Greene said slopes and other features of the land, as well as the need for roads through the property, make only about half the area developable for housing lots.


Greene said that appears to have been a mistake by the Comprehensive Plan Committee in 2009. Developers would need to show their proposal matches the city’s future land use plans and the comprehensive plan before they can submit a development plan.

“We are looking to correct something that we feel was inadvertently in error during the comprehensive plan discussions,” Greene said.

Greene will present the land use plan change to councilors at a regular meeting in the next few months.

Councilor Tizz Crowley said she will not vote in favor of the change.

“I am going to take the position that the comp plan was correct,” Crowley said. “I know you’ve done a lot of research, but whatever was said at these meetings, all that matters is what is in the 311-page document. My position is that the comp plan is correct.”

Crowley also said she was in favor of preserving land that is zoned for agricultural uses.


“We are not creating any more,” she said. “When ag zone land is gone, it’s gone. I am very hesitant to change it.”

Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said he had concerns about traffic and city services since the lot is outside of city water and sewer districts. However, he was optimistic about the project and urged city staff to make sure the developers have a good idea about the concerns city councilors have.

“It would bother me very much if the city was not being proactive and courting this owner to do things that would maximize tax value and maximize the output for that developer,” LaBonte said. “Just having 20 homes there that are worth $250,000 brings us six figures in taxes. Those are real values for us.”

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