Zoning plan for Auburn, Maine property would allow recreation areas, including golf courses, to build hotels, shops and other developments. The proposal has raised concerns among some residents.
Jim Day, an owner of Martindale Country Club in Auburn, Maine, has proposed a rule change that would allow golf courses, ski areas, and other major recreation areas in the city to build hotels, shops and other developments. The proposal was scheduled to be reviewed by city councilors on May 21, the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal reported.
If passed, the proposal would allow developers to apply to create planned-unit development for recreation and residential uses, on top of existing zoning codes, anywhere in the city. Developments would need to be on the city sewer system and tied to a major recreation area larger than 100 acres.
Some residents who live near Martindale CC have expressed concerned about the reduction in property values that would potentially result from opening their neighborhood to commercial businesses.
“We have no guarantee that a hotel would be an economic success, but it would certainly change the character of our neighborhood,” said resident Michelle Jacobus.
Residents are further concerned that not enough traffic studies and economic forecasts have been conducted to help measure the potential impact of the plan.
“We moved here to live in a quiet residential neighborhood, not in a commercial or a business zone,” Jacobus said. “The idea of turning the neighborhood into a recreation development is aversive to us.”
City Planner Eric Cousens said the change is not tied to any one development, even though Day proposed it, and that if it were passed it would also allow other developers in the city to apply for zoning.
Martindale CC is a semi-private club that opened in 1921. It was purchased by Day, a long-time member and local businessman, and Head Golf Professional Nick Glicos, PGA, after encountering financial difficulties in 2009.