The Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter wants to buy this vacant building at 8 Highwood St. in Waterville and turn it into apartments, primarily for seniors and families. The City Council is to consider a rezoning request Tuesday as an initial step toward redeveloping the property. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The City Council will be asked Tuesday to rezone a Highwood Street property to allow for senior, family and emergency shelter housing, and a property on Middle and Pleasant streets to allow for corporate offices.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave. Those wanting to view the meeting remotely can do so through a link on the city’s website — www.waterville-me.gov.

Councilors will be asked to rezone 8 Highwood St. to allow for apartments for seniors and families, and temporary emergency shelter for homeless families.

The Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter wants to buy the property, which has been vacant for many years and formerly housed the HealthReach offices. It would be used to house between 20 and 30 people, including adults with children. Most of the apartments would be permanent housing.

The Planning Board voted 7-0 Wednesday to recommend the City Council rezone the property from Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A to Commercial C-1.

Shelter officials said they hope to begin construction to renovate the building in six to eight months, and they seek to partner with other entities to help increase housing in the city.

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Highwood Street is off College Avenue, and 8 Highwood is across the street from Mount Saint Joseph Residence & Rehabilitation.

The Planning Board also voted 7-0 Wednesday to recommend the council rezone the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church property at 5 Middle St. and part of 72 Pleasant St. from Residential-B to Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A. The change would allow Ware-Butler Building Supply to move its corporate offices to an office building on the property and use the parking lot for those working at the offices.

The former Catholic church and rectory are on the 72 Pleasant St. property, but are not included in the property being considered for rezoning. Officials from Ware-Butler, which bought the property March 23, said they have not determined a use for the church and rectory, but plan to maintain it.

The City Council must take two votes on each of the zoning requests by Ware-Butler and the homeless shelter, and may take only one vote on each Tuesday.

In other matters, councilors are scheduled to consider awarding a $96,000 contract for a new boiler at City Hall; approving responsibilities for ad hoc and standing committees; and amending the city’s licenses and permits ordinance to add an article governing markets, craft fairs and merchandise sales.

The council is also slated to discuss federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.


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