The property the Everett purchased. he plans to turn the garage and building into office and storage space. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

 

BETHEL — Everett Propane of West Paris recently bought a 4.24 acre property at 175 Walkers Mills Road In Bethel. Owner Scott Everett said he plans to install two 30,000 gallon tanks and a 1,000-gallon propane pump station for tank for refilling and filling 20 pound tanks.

The property is located just past Bennett Automotive on the right leaving Bethel.

The applicant plans to have to turn part of the house and garage into office and storage space.

A propane distribution facility will be built at the back of the property.

A road leading to the back of the property will be built almost parallel from the entrance on Sunset Road.

Motion detector lights will be on over the tanks. The tanks are more than 250 feet back from Route 26 and will be covered by “evergreen plantings on top of a three foot tall berm,” according to the application.

With traffic already a concern with many residents in the area, the facility’s location has generated some discussion.

All application materials can be viewed at the Bethel Town Office. There was a planning board meeting Wednesday during which the site plan was discussed.

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“As far as I can tell there’s been no communication with anybody at all,” Gary Wilson said. “There was no communication with the citizens, we’re not abutting but we are close.”

Gary Wilson lives on Forest Drive, which is near the site where the facility is planned to be built.

“With all the land on Route 26 and Route 2, it just seems like they could’ve found a better spot,” Mary Wilson said.

Mary Wilson resides with Gary Wilson on Forest Drive.

Gary Wilson said he was not aware of the project until a week ago. Some residents of Forest Drive joined the planning board for a site walk of the area on May 14.

Residents of Forest Drive say one of their biggest complaints is that the facility is an industrial type of business going into a residential area.

Michelle Conroy, who is secretary of the Forest Drive Association, said she became aware of the site just more than a week ago.

“It’s so hard to get in and out of here as is,” Conroy said regarding the traffic situation.

“We purchased our home last year with retirement in mind.  The propane tanks have upended our plans,” Michael Zeoli said.

Zeoli is one of the abutters to the site.

He and his wife are currently speaking with a lawyer about the situation.

The Zeolis bought their house on Forest Drive in August of 2018, after Everett had purchased the abutting property. Zeoli said he was not informed about the project when he bought the house and said he thinks he should have been notified.

“Our issue is that we will be forced to deal with noise and light pollution, not to mention other concerns, in a place we chose deliberately because [it was] secluded,” Zeoli said.

“We are very concerned about the propane station going in on the property next to Forest Drive,” Dean Walker said. “Even though we are not direct abutters we are close enough to have an impact along with other residents on the drive.”

Walker resides in the subdivision also.

Many residents also agreed that the location of the driveway is not ideal due to the limited visibility people have pulling out.

Attempts to reach Everett for comment have been unsuccessful.


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