July 15, 2020

Promote responsible city development

A polling of Fairmount neighbors present at the Bangor City Council Strategic Issues Committee meeting when asked if city land abutting Silver Road neighbors should be developed resulted in an overwhelming no. The meeting, scheduled to discover residents’ concerns, outlined the possible uses for the excess, city acquired, land currently zoned for single family homes. Among major concerns voiced was the impact that 20 to 25 additional residences would have on neighbors by increased traffic and the possible drain they would have on city utilities.

When I recently purchased a home abutting this vacant land I knew that, given current zoning and the comprehensive plan of the city, facing “new neighbors” sometime in the near future was a likely possibility. I am grateful for the wonderful open space of the golf course that affords walking and other recreational uses.

As an abutter all I can hope for is that this land is developed in a way that maintains the quality and character of the neighborhood. I look forward to seeing what the private housing industry could create.

I, too, am concerned about added traffic on Webster Avenue. I think this and other issues can be addressed. But, as a citizen of Bangor, I am concerned about the lack of quality housing, especially for those approaching retirement age who want to continue to own their homes but want the services offered in a well conceived, low density condominium. I think it’s a shame for Bangor to lose to Hampden and Orono many of its very special “young” seniors who would love to live on this land.

The city has a responsibility to foster responsible development. It also has a responsibility to divest itself of non-earning assets that could create additional tax revenue with little impact on city services.

The Fairmount neighbors who would look forward to living in a well-planned development, who are currently part of the wonderful character of the neighborhood, need to be polled also.

Jon Dawson is president of ERA Dawson-Bradford Realtors and Insurance.

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