Third phase of Gateway Estates OK’d

TRENTON — The application from Gateway Estates, LLC to begin constructing the subdivision’s third phase was unanimously approved with conditions April 14 by the Planning Board. 

The project was presented by engineer Greg Johnston of G.F. Johnston and Associates in Southwest Harbor on behalf of Gateway Estates, LLC. 

Located across from the Wild Acadia Fun Park, the plan for the subdivision’s third phase includes adding six two-family dwellings to the already existing 40 units. 

Plans for the third phase were initially presented to the board on Jan. 27. The application was deemed incomplete at the time, a decision that Chairman John Whetstone explained was anticipated by all parties.

Conditions of the project’s approval are the receipt of a stormwater permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, fulfilling requirements outlined by the Trenton Volunteer Fire Department and the determination of an impact fee, based on the study already conducted by Johnston, to be approved by the Board of Selectmen. 

Impact fees are assessed for potential capital expenses related to the project and are returned to the applicant if not used. 

Board members discussed how the impact of the project on the town would likely be due to increased traffic and families with school-aged children moving to the subdivision who would then attend the Trenton Elementary School. 

Johnston projected that the new units would result in six more children living in the subdivision and attending the school, based on the 18 children who live in the existing units.

According to Johnston’s traffic study conducted over the winter, the area saw over 400 vehicle trips per day.

Requirements to be fulfilled for the Fire Department include widening the road in certain areas and cutting trees back to ensure firefighting apparatuses can reach the subdivision. Some of that work has already been completed, said Tim Gott, owner of Gateway Estates, who was in attendance.

The board also discussed if the width of the 18-foot roads, which had been approved during the subdivision’s first two phases beginning in 2017, were still up to code as Gateway Estates spans several zones, including the Gateway Commercial zone, which would require wider roads. 

The board looked to Code Enforcement Officer Angie Chamberlain, who attended the meeting via Zoom, for guidance.

Chamberlain said the width of the roads is adequate. 

In other business, the board unanimously approved an application by Hammond Buck of Plants Unlimited for the business to expand its footprint to add plant storage, supplies and parking.

Buck is in the process of closing on the 4.66-acre lot adjacent to the store, which would be the site of the additional storage, supplies and parking. No additional buildings are planned for the lot.

Plants Unlimited, which also has a location in Rockland, opened last year on a 5-acre lot on the Bar Harbor Road.

“We just need more space,” Buck said. 

Rebecca Alley

Rebecca Alley

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Rebecca is the Schoodic-area reporter and covers the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Trenton. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband and baby boy who was joyously welcomed in June 2020. Feel free to send tips and story ideas to [email protected]

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