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Report: L.L. Bean cancels controversial plan for major housing development

CEO Stephen Smith said the plan would wait until the town and residents agree on a "clear and comprehensive plan," the Maine Sunday Telegram reports.

FREEPORT, Maine — A controversial plan by L.L. Bean to work with a Portland developer to build hundreds of houses and apartments off Desert and Old County roads is "on hold" until residents and the town can agree on a comprehensive plan.

L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith wrote in a letter Sunday that the company will withdraw support for a plan by KV Enterprises of Portland to develop 329 houses, 60 apartments, 70 duplex buildings and additional commercial lots over as much as 20 years, the Maine Sunday Telegram reports.

Residents spoke against the plan at a recent meeting of the town's planning board, and have gathered in protest as well as posted signs throughout town opposing the plan. Some said the thousands of people it would bring to the town would overwhelm town services and change the character of the town.

Smith said L.L. Bean still wants to sell the land, and will work with the town to do so.