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Annual Workforce Housing Design Charrette

On October we hosted our 5th Annual Workforce Housing Design Charrette. The focus of the two 2-day workshops were properties in the US Route 1/Vacation Drive area of York Maine and the Stratham Circle/Millbrook Drive vicinity in Stratham, New Hampshire.

Click image to view larger.Working with volunteer design teams, property owners and members of the community, the sites were assessed for their potential for development of a neighborhood of modest homes or mixed-uses, and design concepts for possible future development.

The Maine Community Foundation Charrette produced forward-thinking concept designs. With input from York property owners, neighbors and community members, design teams conceived two plans .

The first includes an extension of the Town of York's Workforce Housing Overlay District, allowing at least an additional 2 dozen new workforce housing units for the community.

The second design incorporates a variety of uses - residential, professional office space, retail and eateries - in a Gateway Village concept.

The design team conceived of a spectacular place to arrive in York. They proposed a roundabout on Route 1 at the entrance to the property with a wide boulevard into the property from the front approaching the farm pond, at the back of the site, and associated green spaces. There would be commercial space at the front, which might include an emergent care clinic, offices, eateries and retail shops. The design includes a tower landmark at the entrance, and some form of a community center.

Housing on the York site would include apartments (for rental) as well as townhouses (for purchase). There would be a green buffer zone and walking paths through the property. Much of the area near the farm pond would be maintained as open space perhaps featuring a gazebo. Homes are clustered into neighborhood pods with covered parking behind the buildings. The design assumes another access to/from Parsons Lane at the rear of the property to address traffic concerns.

Click the image to view larger.The Kennebunk Savings Bank Charrette in Stratham NH produced conceptual plans for mixed-uses. The design, Millbrook Commons, includes clusters of workforce housing rentals, single family homes and condos along with retail and professional uses. 

Plans for all of the subject sites incorporated natural areas, public green spaces and pedestrian paths/ sidewalks.

Designs were presented to the York community on October 17th and to the Stratham community on October 24th. A full report for each site will be completed later this year.


Thank you to our Platinum Level charrette sponsors:

 Maine Community Foundation Kennebunk Savings Bank

Thank you to our Gold Level charrette sponsors:

 York Housing AuthorityTown of York MaineYork Hospital 

Additionally, we also thank the many local businesses that provided in-kind gifts of refreshments, meeting space, technological resources and materials - Cafe at Stratham Village Market, Dunkin Donuts, Formichelli's Pizzeria e Ristorante, Hannaford Supermarket, Kittery Community Center, ME Sea Grant/ University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Shaw's Supermarket, Sweet Dreams Bakery, THA Architects, and York Housing.

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Our mission

Our mission is to be a catalyst for the development of a range of housing options affordable to the diverse workforce in the Greater Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Maine. We build support for workforce housing by educating municipal officials, developers and community members.

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