OLD TOWN, Maine — On Jan. 27, in addition to voting on a proposed administrative merger between the Old Town School District and the schools of Union 90 in Bradley, Milford, Alton and Greenbush, voters here will be asked to approve a zoning change along a short section of Stillwater Avenue.
The change would affect five residential properties along the east side of Stillwater Avenue between the Orono town line near the I-95 overpass and the south corner of Bennoch Road. Currently zoned for low-density residential use, the area would be designated for either commercial or residential use if the change is approved.
Directly across from the affected section of road is farmland owned by the University of Maine, and just to the south of that property is a busy commercial zone in the town of Orono that includes a strip mall, fast-food restaurants and gas stations.
According to Old Town City Manager Peggy Daigle, the presence of single-family homes in the heavily developed area worsens traffic congestion and presents a hazard to schoolchildren and other pedestrians.
“This stretch of road is more conducive to commercial development and, for that reason, the city is assisting the residents owning these five residential properties who are seeking this zone change,” Daigle said in a prepared statement.
If approved, the zoning change would allow the properties to be used for either commercial or continued residential purposes, Daigle said.
All zoning changes in Old Town must be approved through the citizen referendum process.