The entrance to Countryside Mobile Home Park at 457 West River Road in Waterville in October 2023. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board voted 6-1 on Tuesday to approve, with conditions, the first phase of a proposed expansion of Countryside Mobile Home Park off West River Road.

Planning Board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick was the lone dissenter in the vote, which also gave the owner of the park a one-year extension to complete the phase.

Burdick has long expressed a reluctance to approve expansions to the park as neighbors continue to complain of ongoing issues there, including water and drainage problems that cause slabs under mobile homes to crumble.

The board stipulated as part of its approval that a recreation area be developed for residents at the park. Prior to the vote, Burdick said that based on current conditions at the park, she was not convinced the expansion meets city ordinance. That ordinance stipulates mobile home parks should not be on poorly drained land, according to Burdick, who also said the owners need place buffers on property lines in the park.

C37 Capital LLC bought the park last year. Randy Butler, an engineer with Dirigo Engineering of Fairfield, said the owners plan to complete 30 mobile homes as part of the expansion and then take a break, with a goal of resuming expansion work 12 to 24 months after that.

Board member Hilary Koch asked Roger Brault, owner of RCM Property Management, which works for the park, if adequate funds are available to do the first phase. He confirmed the money is there, but acknowledged funds are running low, which is why the work will pause until homes are sold and more funds become available.


Park resident Tina St. Laurent said trees fell onto homes during the recent storm and have not been removed.

Brault said the park cannot remove the trees because they could cause further damage to homes.

“It’s an act of God,” he said.

Brault said if trees fall in the park, they are cleaned up as quickly as possible. He said the park was neglected for many years before the current owners bought it and took time to fix the problems. He said his company often works at the park, and the city’s code enforcement office is there weekly.

In other matters, the Planning Board postponed to Jan. 23 a vote on a final plan from the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program to build a 37-unit, low-income apartment complex at 52 King St. in the city’s South End. David Pelton of KVCAP said the complex would include one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The board also reviewed informal plans by Hill Hospitality for an 89-room Home2 Suites hotel to be built at the corner of Industrial and Armory roads. The four-story building would have an entrance and exit from Armory Road. Landscaping and 95 parking spaces are planned for the site. An indoor pool also is also planned.

“I think this is a great location for this,” board member David Johnson said. “It’s needed. This type of hotel is needed.”

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