The Waterville Planning Board postponed consideration Tuesday of preliminary plans for a 40-unit apartment complex at 15 Washington St., shown above. Some board members said they did not have enough information to make a decision. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — Planning Board members said they did not have enough information Tuesday night to consider preliminary and final plans for a proposed 40-unit apartment complex on Washington Street, voting instead to postpone review until June 25.

John Jabar Jr.’s current plan calls for eight buildings, each with a footprint measuring 30 by 60 feet and five apartments in two sizes.

Jabar said earlier this month the 1,200-square-foot apartments would be rented for “probably $2,000” a month and the 900-square-foot units for $1,500.

Before voting to postpone the matter, board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick asked Jabar if the city engineer had reviewed the plans.

Jabar said the city engineer had reviewed plans earlier and raised 17 issues, including questions about a turnaround.

Planning Board member David Johnson said he thought the best plan would be to postpone discussion to the board’s next meeting, scheduled for June 25, so all who need to look at the plans could do so and comment on them. He said the board needs to have those notes before making a final decision.


Jabar asked if it were possible to get conditional approval on his proposal for 15 Washington St.

“I would not feel comfortable doing that,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to speak for anybody else.”

Abutters expressed concern May 15 about water runoff from the property.

Jabar said all of the water from driveways and roofs would be collected into stormwater drainage and piped back to a settling pond for filtration.

Jabar’s comments drew questions from board member Tom DePre, who said abutters are very close to the back of the buildings.

Jabar discussed grading and elevations, and said there is no way water can get off the property without going into the settling pond.


DePre asked how the buildings would be heated and cooled, with Jabar saying mini-splits would be used and located behind the units, under the deck.

Mini-splits are heating and cooling systems that allow users to control the temperature in individual rooms or spaces.

DePre asked where the meter boxes would be located.

Jabar said he would be meeting Wednesday with Central Maine Power Co. and would discuss that.

Koch then proposed postponing the discussion, and she, Johnson, DePre, Burdick, April Chiriboga and Matt Boulerice voted to postpone.

Board member Cassie Julia abstained from voting. She said May 15 she works on and off for Jabar.


Sylvia Spear, an abutter to the project who lives on Lincoln Street, said at the May 15 meeting she was concerned about water running off the site at the back of the property, near where she lives.

Spear also said she is concerned about privacy, but not opposed to building apartments, because Waterville needs housing. She said she would want Jabar’s project done right, with protection for those who live in the area.

Jabar said he was willing to do any kind of screening to satisfy residents’ concerns.

“As far as the water is concerned, we can’t have water leaving my property and just running onto your property,” Jabar said at the May 15 meeting. “I understand that, and, to be honest with you, I won’t allow having water leave my property and impede somebody else’s.”

Abutter Sandra Kostron said at the May 15 meeting she was concerned about traffic, because there is much traffic already on Washington and Lincoln streets and Kennedy Memorial Drive.

Washington Street runs from Kennedy Memorial Drive into the Colby College campus.

The City Council voted 6-0 on Sept. 6, 2023, to approve rezoning the property from Commercial-C to Commercial-A to allow for the project. On May 23, 2023, the council referred a request to rezone the property to the Planning Board for a hearing and recommendation. The Planning Board voted last July to recommend rezoning.

Jabar told city councilors last year he has developed properties in Portland and wants to help with housing demands in Waterville, where he was born and raised. He said many people had approached him about developing housing in the city.

“We’re going to maintain ownership of these properties,” Jabar told the board May 15.

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