Mary Brow, a 57-year resident of Lee Street, speaks Oct. 13 against a mixed-use zoning rule for her neighborhood during a meeting at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Department building. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

WINSLOW — A monthslong issue regarding a zoning change in a residential area of the town has hit a hard restart.

Abutters on Lee and Marie streets were notified last week that land owner Steve Martin has requested to change three lots in Dunbar Acres from high density residential to mixed-use zoning.

“Everything is normal,” Winslow Code Enforcement Officer Adam Bradstreet said. “The person who requests the zoning change basically changed his mind. He doesn’t want the zoning to be contract zoned anymore. He wants it to be mixed use.”

A public hearing on Zoom is scheduled for March 8 at 6 p.m. The Winslow Planning Board is invited to attend the hearing and will vote for a recommendation to the Town Council at the April 5 Planning Board meeting. The council will take up the vote at the April 12 meeting following a reading of the board’s recommendation.

“The Planning Board will vote on what to send to the council, a recommendation anyway,” Bradstreet said.

Town Manager Erica LaCroix said if the first reading is approved, the second would occur at the May council meeting. The original mixed-use zone passed prior to LaCroix’s arrival.

“They won’t be able to waive the (second vote) because it’s a statutory requirement of the ordinance change,” LaCroix said. “The council has to get a recommendation from the Planning Board.”

Tabled for the fourth consecutive month at the Winslow Town Council’s February meeting, town rules required Martin to send a new notice to abutters via certified mail about a vote. In the mailing, Martin wrote he wishes to change lots 87, 88 and 89 in Dunbar Acres from high density residential to mixed-use zoning.

This request is different from the most recent proposal before the council, which asked for contract zoned high-density residential status. Mixed-use zoning allows many more uses than a contract zone. Martin wants to change the zoning to build a garage for his S B Martin Excavation business. Martin also wants to put his construction vehicles on the lot.

“It would just be limited to the area, and it would have to be buffered,” Bradstreet said.

The Town Council initially voted twice to approve the zoning change, but pushback from residents during public comments and a workshop brought the topic back before the council. The council delayed the ordinance at an October meeting and called a special meeting later that month. The issue has been tabled at every meeting since.

Martin owns lots 81-83 and 86-90 in the Dunbar Acres and Dunbar Acres Annex Subdivision. The lots can be seen on Tax Map 13, Lot 115.

Having the Planning Board attend the public hearing at the March council meeting evens the playing field.

“We feel that it is going to be totally transparent and everyone has the same access to the information to make their decisions,” LaCroix said.


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