May 27, 2018
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‘Pocket neighborhood’ eyed for Rockland

Ross Chapin Architects | BDN
Ross Chapin Architects | BDN
A New Hampshire couple is looking into developing a “pocket neighborhood” of 15 small homes on 9 acres of land in Rockland.
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire man said he hopes to be able to meet with the town’s planning board early next year on a proposal to create a “pocket neighborhood” of 15 small homes.

Bob and Trudy Young of Bedford, N.H., own a half interest in a little more than 9 acres that stretches from Cedar to Maverick streets. The Youngs met last week with the city manager, code enforcement officer and community development director about their plans to develop the land.

The Youngs are still putting together information, including costs, before they meet with the planning board for a pre-application meeting. Bob Young said, however, that research thus far shows demand by both people near retirement who want to downsize their living space, and young, single people seeking small, energy-efficient homes.

The project being considered is 15 homes of between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet, Young said. They would be energy-efficient and easy to maintain.

The land would have a common area, with the homes facing that area.

Young said he and his wife are nearing retirement and wanted a home that was small and energy-efficient and within walking distance of an urban area. The lot in Rockland meets those requirements, he said.

“We want to complement the neighborhood that is there,” Young said.

While he does not have a specific price determined for the homes, he said he expects it to be in the low $200,000 range.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities,” Young said.

The Youngs said they want to hear feedback from neighbors. He said they want to work within the existing city ordinances regulating cluster housing. The lot has some wetlands and an easement for a water main to cross, but the plan being developed meets those issues, he said. defines a pocket neighborhood as “a dozen or so neighbors who interact on a daily basis around a shared garden, quiet street or alley — a kind of secluded neighborhood within a neighborhood.”

During the past year in Rockland, there have been four modulars, five mobile homes and one stick-built house approved, according to the code office.

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