Under discussion this evening at Select Board meeting

Two development proposals for Camden’s Sagamore Farm: Co-housing and affordable housing

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 7:30pm

    CAMDEN — Camden’s Select Board this evening, March 23, will begin consideration of two development proposals submitted by private companies for the 77-acre Sagamore Farm.

    Sagamore, as it is more commonly referenced, is the municipally-owned parcel that abuts Camden Hills State Park and lies off of Route 1 north.

    The land has been in town ownership since 1945, and much of it lies in woodlands, except for a half-acre portion dedicated to a municipal solar array and 2.5 miles of bicycle, skiing and hiking trails.

    Since inviting expressions of interest for the land, the town received two:

    Realty Resources, owned by Joseph Cloutier, proposes constructing an affordable housing complex with homes not be priced more than $220,000, according to MaineHousing guidelines for Knox County.


    The homes would be designed as townhouses with a garage and two floors, 1,231-square-feet in size.

    While the going rate of new home construction is now $342 per square foot, Realty Resources said in its proposal that it “would build these units for well under market price, at only $178 per square foot.”

    Cloutier is asking the town to donate the land to an affiliated LLC of Realty Resource.

    The plan calls for 30 buildings and 60 dwelling units, completed in three phases.

    The company would set aside five acres for the town to expand its solar initiative.

    Cloutier said in the proposal that the company asks the town to increase allowable density fore the site. Additionally, the proposal does not comply with the town’s open space zoning density requirements.

    Realty Resources is asking the town to carry the sewer and road costs, estimated at $2.5 million, which could be raised, it said, through a tax increment financing district creation and a Community Block Grant from the state.

    The company has negotiated a right-of-way with Parker Laite, Jr., with the main entrance to be built through Laite Construction.

    “We ask the town to revise the zoning around the Laite property, in order to satisfy our right-of-way commitment,” the proposal said.

    Midcoast Cohousing LLC, an initiative of Hilary Clark, Els Heij, Alana Madrano, Jason Madrano, Rozanna Patane, in collaboration with David Berto, of Housing Enterprises, Inc., consists of 30 to 40 individual homes clustered on less than 10 percent of Sagamore Farm.One third of the homes would be priced, “to be affordable at 80 percent to 120 percent of the Area Median Income.

    All homes are to be built to net zero carbon standards, and would comprise single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex homes ranging in size of 700 to 1,500 square feet.

    The main power source would be electricity, and building materials would include cross-laminated timber and wood fiber insulation instead of steel and concrete.

    A common house would provide guest rooms, shared spaces for meals and activities, and a multi-purpose barn would be built.

    There would be an open space for gardens, play areas and other shared uses, the proposal said.

    “We are not commercial developers, we are mission-riven and have no profit motive, an there will be no developer fee in our cost structure,” the proposal said.

    Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at lyndaclancy@penbaypilot.com; 207-706-6657