View of the approved Scotty Brook at Black Mountain from the Black Mountain of Maine ski area.

George O’Keefe (left), Rumford economic development director, and John Bartash III, associate broker for the Hebert Realty Group in Mexico, discuss the approved 300-unit housing project, now available on the real estate market.

RUMFORD — An approved 300-unit housing project on 450 acres off the Isthmus Road is now available on the real estate market.
Called Scotty Brook at Black Mountain, the development would be in the shadow of the Black Mountain of Maine ski area.
John Bartash III, associate broker for the Hebert Realty Group in Mexico, says the owner, Lem Cissel of Cissel Enterprises LLC in Maryland, is selling the subdivison for a little under $2 million.
Scotty Brook has been laid out, surveyed, planned and approved by the Rumford Planning Board and professionally engineered by Main-Land Development of Livermore Falls.
George O’Keefe, economic development director for Rumford, said, “This subdivision puts it in everybody’s face, that we have one of the finest skiing resorts in the state. We have more winter sports opportunity than practically any other community in Maine.”
Bartash said Scotty Brook has been on the market for over a week.
“Our real estate office is already getting calls from people out of state who either had connections here or see a value here, looking to buy real estate or an investment property.”
Bartash said the subdivision would also be huge for the future of the locally-owned ski area.
Scotty Brook was first introduced some 12 years ago. Cissel had gone through all the subdivision steps with the town and state. But he had to end the project when the housing crash happened.
Cissel, who is now 80, said, “We were ready to start breaking ground. Everything was passed and okayed by everybody. I had paid for everything, including engineering out of my own savings.”
He had been approved for a large construction loan. But, then came the housing crash, and Cissel said he received a letter from his bank, cancelling the loan.
“I was shocked at what was going on. Then, three months later, the world found out what happened; the economy tanked, and that was it,” said Cissel.
O’Keefe said, “We have local professionals who need this housing. I’ve heard from people who think this is just going to go to people from out of state. I know that that’s not going to be the case because I know people who intend to buy into this.”
Bartash added this may include some people who used to live here who would like to come back.
Scotty Brook plans call for 145 units of multi-family housing, 23 units of clustered single family homes on shared land, 20 single family homes on quarter-acre parcels, and 109 single family homes on parcels ranging up to four or five acres and perhaps more.
Names chosen for the streets in the development reflect the skiing history of Black Mountain such as Rumford’s four Olympians, Broomhall, Chenard, Pidacks and Miller.
Bartash said the plan includes common spaces, walking trails, snowmobile access, skiing access and fishing. Municipal sewer lines would serve the project, while individual or shared wells would provide water.
The subdivision has two different tiers because of elevation, so some are higher with views. “It preserves nature, the water, the habitat.”
Bartash said there would be two entrances to Scotty Brook, with the main access coming off of Isthmus Road and Swain Hill. The first home would be 400 feet in from the road. All the roads in the project would be built to town standards of 24-feet wide and be paved.
O’Keefe gave a lot of credit to Richard Coulombe, the town’s code enforcement officer, for rediscovering the plans for Scotty Brook, and “pointing out to me that we had a fully planned and approved subdivision.”
After looking at the subdivision plan further, O’Keefe contacted Cissel and pointed out the improving market conditions.
“One of the things we discovered was that his understanding of the market condition was really based on his impression of how things were going on regionally in Maryland. We were able to convey to him that the market up here was in much better shape than where he was, and he didn’t know that.”
Coulombe said, “I’m hoping someone buys and moves forward with it. That would be so great for this area. We need it.”
Cissel said he believes Coulombe to be the most important person if this subdivision is going to happen.
“Richard has the key to the future of Rumford, whether he enforces the laws that are written or not.”
He said people, including the Board of Selectmen and town manager, have to back Coulombe “because he’s got to step out in rough territory, in a sense. Nobody’s going to like a code (enforcement) officer saying you’ve got to do this, that and the other. But he’s going to have to do that and stand tall. If he does, Rumford’s going to turn into something else.”
Cissel noted, “I spent a lot of money up there, and I don’t regret one bit of it.

People got excited and I had a lot of fun. I would love to see something big happen up there.”
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