Residents who frequently use Rockingham Road near Exit 5 may have noticed that the home alongside the Let’s Play Music studio was recently demolished. This is because the owners of the property have been working towards putting together a brand new structure in its place, which was the second topic of discussion for the Planning Board during their Oct. 10 meeting at Town Hall.
Alan Johnson, the owner of Ramp Holdings, LLC, as well as the applicant for the site plan, made his case to the board alongside John Rokey of Rokey Consulting to elaborate on the details of the project.
The application was actually a continuation from a previous meeting with the board last month, but this portion was focused more so on the new structure, which would be a two story commercial building alongside additional parking spaces and assorted site improvements.
Rokey told the board that the case had already been settled with the music studio and their newest site plan worked around the studio so that the two structures could co-exist. Although Johnson admitted that the building was mainly for himself and his family, there were eight units within the structure that others could rent out if they wished.
Rokey went into detail about what needed to be done in order to put the project together, including seeking approve from the Heritage Commission about demolishing the original home, working to safely connect the town’s thirty inch water line along Route 28 to the new structure and working with town staff and fire officials to make sure that the project went off without a hitch.
Overall, the only real concern about the project came from water alleviation within the back of the property. They originally planned on developing a detention pond, but due to slopping issues, they eventually settled on a Stormtech system to assist with drainage. None the less, the two were not looking for any special variances for the project, but simply approval of the site plan.
“We’re not asking for any waivers; we’re not asking for any conditional use permits”, Rokey stated.
While issues concerning access to the drainage area were mostly ironed out by the board, several neighbors and abutters did come to the meeting to voice their concerns over what impact the construction and structure itself would have on the neighborhood. Those in attendance showed concerns over the height of the building, noise and lighting from the construction becoming a nuisance and an assortment of zoning issues that may come into play because of the project.
Board member Jim Butler seemed to be in agreement somewhat with the fact that the project may cause some issues, not to mention that the state may overturn any input the town has since the road is a part of Route 28.
“We’re dealing with zoning; we’re dealing with traffic; we’re dealing with noise; we’re dealing with the state”, Butler noted.
However, the board realized that several ordinances currently in place would ultimately quell any noise and lighting concerns facing the residents and since no members could see any other issues with the project, the site plan was approved unanimously.