Habitat seeks contract zone for Rockland neighborhood

By Stephen Betts | Sep 14, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Habitat for Humanity wants to build houses along Philbrick Avenue in Rockland.

Rockland — Midcoast Habitat for Humanity has filed plans to build 12 modest-sized homes on Philbrick Avenue.

Habitat has applied for a contract/conditional use zone for Philbrick Avenue.

The proposal calls for the one and two bedroom 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 contract zone is needed because the 12 lots do not meet the road frontage requirement of 80 feet per parcel, nor does each home meet the 750-square-foot minimum house size.

Habitat purchased the property in January 2017 for $105,000 from the estate of Madeline Philbrick.

The future homeowners would be people earning 30 to 80 percent of the gross median income. 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.

In a 2012 interview, Madeline Philbrick recalled the neighborhood fondly. She lived on the street for a few years in the late 1930s, attending a small school nearby on Camden Street.

“Those were good days. It was a dead-end street and children could play in the street. You were close to everything,” Philbrick recalled in 2012.

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

The contract zoning process requires a public hearing by the Rockland Planning Board. The board would then make a recommendation to the City Council, which would consider whether to approve the contract zone.

The Planning Board's first review of the proposal will be 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The application for the housing development points out that this neighborhood would be a walkable neighborhood near services such as stores.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Terrance B Monahan | Sep 15, 2018 09:43

Has the traffic flow been analysed?

Posted by: Stephen Betts | Sep 15, 2018 08:37

Rockland will extend sewer line to property line and Habitat will take it from there.

Posted by: Robin Gabe | Sep 14, 2018 13:40

Have sewer and water services been run out there? If not, will Habitat have to pay to have that done? Good to know the land will be put to good use.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Sep 14, 2018 12:29

Great idea for much needed affordable homes.

Posted by: Stephen Betts | Sep 14, 2018 11:30

One and two bedroom homes.

Posted by: Nina Reed | Sep 14, 2018 07:51

i thought most people that get habitat houses have children. would they be big enough for that? patricia williams

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 14, 2018 07:17

Do it to it! Kudos to all those involved in this much needed project.

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