Habitat neighborhood gets initial Rockland OK

By Stephen Betts | Feb 17, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Habitat for Humanity plans to build 12 homes on Philbrick Avenue.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council gave initial approval to a contract zone that will rebuild a once-thriving neighborhood with modest-sized homes.

The council voted unanimously Feb. 11 for a contract zone with Habitat for Humanity on Philbrick Avenue. A formal public hearing and final vote are scheduled for March 11.

A contract zone is needed because the residential development will have smaller lot sizes, reduced road frontage, and smaller minimum house sizes than current zoning allows.

Former Rockland Mayor Richard Warner spoke at the Feb. 11 meeting and said that this was a worthwhile endeavor and a demonstration of what small homes will look like. He said this was a better approach than the controversial council-backed overhaul of residential zoning that was ultimately rescinded.

The Rockland Planning Board recommended approval of the contract zone at its Oct. 16 meeting.

Habitat wants to build 12 one- and two-bedroom homes on the Philbrick Avenue property it purchased in January 2017 for $105,000 from the estate of Madeline Philbrick.

The proposal calls for the homes to be from 650 to 850 square feet. The road will be paved, sidewalks will be created, and there will be green space for the development called Philbrick Commons.

The future homeowners would be people earning 30 to 80 percent of the gross median income for the city of Rockland. They would have to invest 250 to 350 hours working on construction of Habitat homes.

Philbrick Avenue is a dead-end street on the west side of Camden Street.

The street had been a neighborhood of small cottages built in the 1930s by Eugene Philbrick. The homes were rented until the septic systems failed, and as they became vacant they were not re-rented.

The buildings were demolished in 2012 and the land has since been vacant.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Feb 19, 2019 07:30

You can contact Midcoast Habitat for Humanity. http://www.midcoasthabitat.org/

Posted by: Kimberley Heilig | Feb 19, 2019 06:37

This sounds like an excellent idea.

Posted by: Nina Reed | Feb 19, 2019 03:34

How do you apply for this or any habitat for humanity.

Thank you,


Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Feb 17, 2019 13:22

Habitat for Humanity is an excellent, research/based resource for needed affordable housing.

Posted by: Stephen Betts | Feb 17, 2019 12:42


Posted by: Robin Gabe | Feb 17, 2019 11:44

Will town water and sewer services be extended into this neighborhood before construction?

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