Last month we told you about J.D. Irving’s concept plan to put about 400 leased lots on the Fish River Lakes Chain for sale and to discontinue leasing; that was one of the main topics discussed at today’s meeting at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center concerning the Maine Land Use Planning Commission and J.D. Irving.
J.D. Irving has recognized 50,000 acres of timberland in the Fish River Lakes Chain on which there are over 400 existing leases; areas the company would like to have re-zoned for future development. The agenda of the pre-application meeting for J.D. Irving and the Maine LUPC involved discussing the concept plan for land development and LUPC’s site visit.
Director of Land Use Planning Commission Nick Livesay says, “At the very front end of the process really, Irving has certainly been working on their proposal for quite some time but we’re yet to see a formal application, and so it’s with the filing of a formal application that the real heavy lifting from the state agencies perspective will begin.”
Irving expects to file their formal application to the LUPC before the end of the year. Part of the plan involves J.D. Irving backing away from the lease holding business, a decision the company says comes from both a practical and financial point of view.
Director of Land Development for J.D. Irving Anthony Hourihan says, “We’ve had many calls over the last few years, people looking to lease new land, people interested in other properties in the area, so we wanted a long-term integrated plan that we could incorporate with out forestry planning.”
J.D. Irving says the lease holders along the lakes are large stake holders in the concept plan, and they’ve discussed the idea of selling the existing leases to the current lease holders after the concept plan is complete.
Director of Land Development for J.D. Irving Anthony Hourihan says, “I know some folks may not be in a position to buy these, so we’re trying to work with all the folks in a level of comfort as we go through this, our focus today is on the concept plan but then quickly we’ll turn to the leases and how do we ensure that everyone is treated fairly as we convert from leases to ownership for the people that want to.”
The concept plan for land development is a long-term one that involves mapping out the next 25 years of proposed areas the company would like to see developed. The next step in the process involves Land Use Planning Commissioners visiting the areas along the Fish River Lakes that Irving would like re-zoned.
On Thursday the LUPC will visit many of the different sites around the Fish River Lakes Chain. The chain includes Long Lake, Square Lake, Mud Lake, and Cross Lake. More public stakeholder meetings between J.D. Irving and the LUPC are scheduled within the next couple months.