The formal public hearing and site plan review by the Rockland Planning Board concerning a request by Habitat for Humanity to get a contract zone that would allow it to develop nearly 11 acres into a mix of single-family homes and rental units have been postponed until Dec. 15.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 1.

The hearing and review will now be held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at Rockland City Hall.

The non-profit organization submitted Nov. 4 its application for a contract/conditional zone change at 165 Talbot Ave.

The 10.6 acres of undeveloped land is on the north side of Talbot Avenue, between Traverse Street and JRL Drive. Habitat purchased the land in June from Denis and Pauline Black for $200,000.

Habitat proposes building eight efficiency/one-bedroom residences that will each be 500 square feet; three duplexes that will each have a one-bedroom (1,000 square-foot) and a three-bedroom (1,200-square foot) rental residence; and five single-family homes each ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,500-square feet.

There will be common green space for gardens, a playground and gazebo.

A contract zone is needed, because the 500-square-foot residences are less than the current minimum 750-square-foot required in the residential A zone where the land is located.

The contract zone process requires the applicant to first go before the Rockland Planning Board, which will then issue a recommendation to the City Council. The City Council may then take a preliminary vote, hold a public hearing and a final vote on the contract zone.

The contract zone would also reduce the setback from Talbot Avenue from 25 feet to 15 feet to maximize the distance of buildings from abutting properties.

Habitat points out in its application that affordable housing is one of the most critical issues facing Maine. City leaders have also voiced concern about the lack of affordable housing.

Habitat, based in Rockport, has developed significant number of homes in Rockland for working class people with lower incomes.

The largest project to date has been Philbrick Commons which will eventually consist of 12 one and two-bedroom homes each of between 650 and 850 square feet. This pocket neighborhood of 2.5 acres is located on Philbrick Avenue off Camden Street in Rockland.

Habitat also built multiple homes on Brewster Street.