Growing Businesses Obtain Approvals By Planning Board

Two local businesses looking to expand sites due to increased business came to the Planning Board seeking approval to expand their operations.

After sharing conceptual plans with the Planning Board in June, representatives of Reeds Ferry returned on Sept. 5 seeking formal approval of their site plan. Reeds Ferry has been operating out of 3 Tracy Lane. With the expansion they will be using the buildings at 5 and 7 Tracy Lane after recently purchasing those properties.

Jason Hill, Project Manager from TF Morin and Laurie Blanchette, Director of Operations at Reeds Ferry, appeared before the Board. Overall, their plans call for additional outdoor storage space to display sheds and moving parts of manufacturing into 5 Tracy Lane to free up space at 3 Tracy Lane. The plan also calls for parking and traffic flow improvements.

Reeds Ferry plans to expand the 10,000 sq. ft. building that housed NEGTC. In the early 2000s, the town approved a 2000 sq. ft. expansion, but NEGTC never executed the expansion., Reeds Ferry intends to do so as part of their plan.

The applicant plans to install driveways that would connect all three buildings to improve the traffic flow and keep more truck traffic off Tracy Lane. Part of the site resides in Hudson. Hill shared that the planning board in Hudson had granted conditional approval for that portion.

Town Councilor Jim Butler asked which town would respond if emergency services were required. Board member Al Sypek, a former fire chief in Londonderry, responded that both towns would respond.

The applicant requested three waivers to the site plan regulations, two related to parking and one related to lighting. Given that large trucks would be using one of the parking areas, they requested to not have interior landscaping in the lot and to have fewer trees per parking spot than normal. The lighting request was to have a different intensity than the town standard.

All three waivers were supported by town planning staff and the Board also voted 8-0 to approve both the waivers and the site plan.

Everything Essential Salon, a business looking to move from their location at 18 Orchard View Drive to a proposed new retail and office space on Mohawk Drive made their pitch to the Board. Matt Routhier of Bedford Design Consultants led the presentation and was joined by Laura Maillet, owner of Everything Essential.

The proposed building on a 1.015-acre lot would have a two-story 2,920 square foot footprint with a salon on the first floor and a spa on part of the second floor. The remainder of the second floor would be leasable office space. The project would use an existing driveway and detention pond on the property.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment previously approved a variance allowing the project to have a smaller landscaping buffer than would normally be required. With that approval in hand, the applicant presented their plan.

They sought three additional waivers from the Board, two related to drainage and one a request to use wooden guardrails in place of the metal ones required by the town ordinance. Town planning staff supported the drainage waiver, but not the guardrail exception.

Following advice of the planning staff, the Board granted the drainage waivers and denied the proposed guardrail variance. The overall site plan was conditionally approved on a unanimous vote.

In the last case before the Board, Don Charette, owner of Wicked Good Scoops, a planned new ice cream and café establishment on Buttrick Road came before the Board to feel out the likelihood that they would support his desire to have a crushed stone parking lot instead the asphalt one required by the town.

Earlier this summer, the Board approved the plan for Wicked Good Scoops with an asphalt parking area and driveway. Charette was hoping to amend his plan. Charette made the case that a pervious surface would be better environmentally and would be more attractive in the planned location of the business. He also pointed out that one of the parking lots at the high school, a lot at Mack’s ice cream stand and several roads in town are still dirt and crushed rock.

He also shared results of an engineering study he commissioned that said for his planned use, a stone driveway and parking area would be as effective as pavement. Public Works Director, Janusz Czyzowski, spoke forcefully against the proposal, saying that pavement adds to the structural integrity of the lot and driveway and will be easier to maintain.

Board Member Peter Commerford expressed concern that in the winter it would harder to clear ice and snow, creating a dangerous situation, especially for anyone with mobility issues. In the end, all eight Board members told Charette that they would not support his request.