A wooded area along Eight Rod Road in Augusta is the site for new apartment buildings totaling 260 units. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Construction can move forward on a new 260-unit apartment complex on undeveloped land near the intersection of Eight Rod and Old Belgrade roads.

The city Planning Board approved the project Tuesday, with board members saying the developer, Massachusetts-based John Flatley Co., worked to address concerns raised by officials and neighbors. The developer also made changes to the plans for the market-rate complex of five apartment buildings, which will be accessed from Eight Rod Road.

Augusta is in need of housing,” said Bob Corey, chairman of the Planning Board. “We feel like they’ve come to us and met the standards to make housing available. We welcome this company to Augusta and welcome the new housing.”

Some concerns about traffic remain, with the influx of so many new residents to the largely undeveloped residential area that is within walking distance to the Marketplace at Augusta, on land sold to the developer by Calumet Club. Plans call for the complex to have 140 two-bedroom and 120 one-bedroom units.

Eight Rod Road resident Patrick Dumas expressed concern — in part due to the close proximity of the Eight Rod Road entrance of the new development to the intersection with Old Belgrade Road — of traffic backing up there. That could be especially problematic when a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off children there, and during heavy commuting times, Dumas said.

“Where that’s such a short distance from entering and exiting, from Eight Rod Road to Old Belgrade Road, is that going to cause a traffic problem, you know when everyone is heading to work at a certain time, coming home at a certain time?” Dumas asked.


Jim Coffin, an Augusta consultant who worked for John Flatley Co. on the project, said a project traffic study was submitted to the state Department of Transportation and would also be reviewed by the city engineer. He said the study indicated the intersection, which will be changed to a more perpendicular layout as part of changes for the project, could handle the additional traffic.

“We feel very comfortable this is going to work,” Coffin said. “There are, like you said, 260 apartments here. There is going to be a fair amount of traffic leaving in the morning and coming home at night, and that’s going to happen on a daily basis, Monday to Friday. This is all taken into account by the Department of Transportation process.”

Coffin said a school bus to pick up children at the apartments is expected to stop on Eight Rod Road, not drive into the complex. He said they’d likely add a bus stop structure near the road, and may add an area where parents could park while waiting for their kids to get on or off the bus.

The complex is expected to have an outdoor swimming pool and a clubhouse for residents, as well as walking paths in the surrounding woods. Each of the five buildings will have a 10-space parking garage.

The board approved a waiver of parking requirements for the project, allowing 1.7 spaces per unit instead of two.

One pedestrian path will follow what will also be an underground utility corridor, and a gated emergency access route for emergency vehicles, running from the building through a now wooded area to Old Belgrade Road.


Board member Alison Nichols noted neighbors, in two previous meetings on the project, asked if the entrance could be on Old Belgrade Road instead of the narrower Eight Rod Road.

Coffin said the developer sought to purchase an option from Calumet Club for a right of way to cross the club’s property for an entrance onto Old Belgrade Road. But club officials declined, citing concern it could be a detriment if the club seeks to develop more of its land there in the future.

The development are to be served by water and sewer lines that will be extended to the site by Greater Augusta Utility District.

A condition imposed by the board in order for the project to obtain a building permit and start construction is that it make a financial contribution to the city to help pay for the construction of sidewalks from the development to connect to the existing sidewalk system on Northern Avenue.

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