The Cushing Planning Board met with land surveyors Donald Richards and John Black April 3 to consider a pre-application plan for a proposed 13-lot subdivision off Route 97.

The swath of property eyed for development, formerly known as the Dean farm, was purchased by Richards and Black last spring. The partners have named the subdivision Fairfields.

The caveat — they may need to ask permission from a lot owner to build it.

The entire piece totals about 35 acres. Nine acres, including the original home, have already been sold.

Black and Richards did not intend for the first parcel sold to be part of the subdivision, they said.

The proposed lots would surround both sides of the 9-acre piece.

Black said he expects the homes of in the subdivision would be varied — stick-built, modular, and mobile dwellings.

If the lot owner agreed to join the subdivision — subject to any covenants or dues of the association — the process could proceed.

If the lot owners didn't agree to such terms, Black and Richards would either have to wait five years to sell more lots and create the subdivision, or garner a differing — and board acceptable — legal interpretation of state statute.

The statute as read by Code Enforcement Officer Scott Bickford and board members contends the first sale of the piece constitutes as the first division of the parcel and beginning of the subdivision.

Subdivision, by Maine law, is defined as the division of a tract of land into three or more lots within a five-year period. In determining whether a tract of land is divided into three or more lots, the first dividing is considered to create the first two lots and the next dividing of either of these first two is considered to create a third lot, according to the statute.

Black said he has informally spoken with the property owners, and they are willing to consider being part of the subdivision upon further understanding of what, if anything, would be expected of them financially as part of the association.

Black said he will hire an attorney to provide additional interpretation of the statute.

Planning Board Member Dan Remian said in February that with deciphering the question of whether the first lot constitutes as the first parcel of the development, two lawyers can give differing interpretations.

The plan currently remains in a pre-application status, so Black and Richards will make modifications and have the necessary materials ready for consideration for subsequent meetings.

Black said he hopes to have final approval of the plan in June, as he wants to have the lots on the market this summer.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.