With a 3rd of its inhabitants over age 60, Bowdoinham is in search of methods to broaden the native housing market to incorporate all ages and incomes.
Bowdoinham’s 2014 complete plan careworn the necessity for inexpensive housing, and now, 9 years later, residents say it isn’t nearly inexpensive housing however out there housing to all.
4 months in the past, residents fleshed out concepts for Bowdoinham’s future and prompt extra townhomes and duplexes, seasonal housing for farm employees, cluster housing, new industrial areas, and extra septic choices.
The Bowdoinham Housing Committee returned with examples of profitable group housing in neighboring cities: Two Echo Co-Housing Neighborhood in Brunswick, Mariners Touchdown in Brunswick and three-unit apartment improvement in Tub.
Ninety-three p.c of the dwellings in Bowdoinham are occupied, round 7% by renters. Since 2000, Bowdoinham’s inhabitants has grown by 16%, reaching 3,000 individuals. Throughout that point, Sagadahoc County has grown by 4% and Maine by 7%.
Bowdoinham Complete Planning Committee Chair Joanne Pleasure mentioned the city might place as many as 75 models on 1 acre however mentioned that was extra possible for a metropolis like Portland. Different choices included two, six or 18 dwellings per acre, which residents discovered extra palatable.
Assistant dealer and Bowdoinham resident Cara Taggersell mentioned she want to see housing be “extra town-focused and fewer developer-focused.” Taggersell puzzled if extra condo models would entice youthful residents and prompt the city buy an empty Most important Road lot that previously housed the Grey Property, which burned down final yr.
The historic constructing was in-built 1800 and remodeled into six condo models in 1974. The lot remains to be owned and maintained by Goodall Property Group LLC.
As residents proceed to mull over what they need for future housing, they’re sure of what they don’t need. Residents spoke in opposition to HOA charges that will problem the autonomy of residence patrons and presumably create a monetary burden for residents.
As a substitute, they want to see duplexes provided as leases and tax incentives for people, not simply builders.
“We anticipate it is going to be a reasonably prolonged course of to get from dialog to building,” mentioned Mary Mayo, Bowdoinham Neighborhood Improvement Initiative board chair. “Simply altering the land use ordinances to permit for some building concepts would require approval at a City Assembly.”
A brand new complete plan can be created and voted on in June 2024 — till then, housing stays a dialogue.