Two buildings that would be part of Head of Falls Village in downtown Waterville are shown in this rendering, looking north from City Hall at Temple Street in the foreground and Front Street, obscured to the right. The proposed multiuse project would include more than 60 housing units. Rendering courtesy of Todd Alexander

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board approved a request Tuesday by the developer of the proposed Head of Falls Village housing project in downtown Waterville to recommend the City Council reduce the length of parking spaces at the site.

Renewal Housing Associates LLC requested a revision to the parking standards in the city’s zoning ordinance, asking the length of parking spaces be reduced from 18.5 feet to 18 feet to make it easier to design more efficient parking and access. The board voted 5-0 to recommend the council approve the change, according to City Planner Ann Beverage.

As part of the vote, the Planning Board recommended the City Council approve a change in the Commercial-A zone that would allow off-street parking spaces to be set back from rear and side property lines not less than 2 feet when abutting a nonresidential use or zone. The change in setback applies only to rear and side setbacks, not to front setbacks.

The council is expected to consider the recommendations at its next meeting, scheduled for May 23.

The $30 million to $35 million proposal by Todd Alexander, vice president and partner at the Portland-based company, is to build 63 housing units in two buildings along Temple and Front streets. The plan calls for 91 on-site parking spaces.

The development on 1.7 acres focuses on affordable, mixed-income and workforce housing. Renewal is developing the project with Northland Enterprises Inc., a real estate development and management company also based in Portland.


The board has reviewed an informal preapplication for the project as part of the site plan review process and Alexander is scheduled to come back to the board June 13. If he has everything the board needs, including letters from the Kennebec Water District, Waterville Sewerage District, Fire Department and city engineer, the board could consider preliminary and final plans, according to Beverage.

“They could, conceivably, have one more meeting with the Planning Board, but it’s kind of a complex project,” she said.

In other matters Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a request by Matt Townsend, a veterinarian, to recommend to the City Council that a revision be made to the zoning ordinance to allow veterinary clinics in the Commercial-A zone. Townsend wants to develop a veterinary clinic in the former Sweet Frog space in the mall off Waterville Commons Drive.

The board also approved a final plan by D.W. LLC for a 28-lot subdivision, Reservoir Hill, off Route 104 in Fairfield. One of the lots in the subdivision is in Waterville.

“Fairfield has already approved this, but because this project is in two cities, the state law is that both towns have to sign off on it,” Beverage said.

The board also approved a request by the Kennebec Water District for revisions to the conditions of approval for its new business and operations center at 131 Drummond Ave. When the Planning Board approved plans for the project, board members had required a fence be erected around a pond that holds and filters stormwater. But district Superintendent Roger Crouse convinced the board Tuesday the risk is probably not great that someone would get into the pond, Beverage said.

Crouse cited other locations, such as Johnson Pond on the Colby College campus and the walking trail along the Messalonskee Stream, behind the Alfond Youth & Community Center, as bodies of water that are not fenced.

Board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick and member Tom DePre were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

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