Planning Board Signs Site Plan for Wallace Farm Workforce Housing

The Planning Board agreed on a 6-0 vote to sign the site plan for the Wallace Farm workforce housing development prior to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) issuing a permit for off-site improvements.

“We’re not going to have a problem with the plans being signed before the state approves?” member Jim Butler asked. “What if they don’t sign it?”

Geographic Information Services Manager John Vogl said the risk is the developer’s, because he is the one completing the construction.

The site plan features 240 units in 10 garden-style buildings on a 25 acre parcel right off Exit 5 of Interstate 93.

The plan also includes a clubhouse, pool, and manager’s office.

Attorney Thomas Leonard of Nashua, who represented the developer at the Nov. 5 meeting, said signing the site plan and granting final approval will allow the developer to move forward with financing and get a contractor on board with the project.

“The DOT is the one thing really lagging,” he said, explaining progress is being slowed due to the uncertainty of when the DOT will grant the permit.

“It’s not a complicated design and the DOT acknowledges that, but they have to do their due diligence,” Vogl said.

In addition to the waiver to the site plan regulation to allow the Board to sign the plans without final approval being granted by the DOT prior to the issuance of any certificates of occupancy for the site, the developer requested a waiver to allow for listing the DOT permit number for the off-site improvements on the cover of the Off-site Improvement Plans to be submitted to the Town for the Board’s signature prior to the issuance of any building permits for the site.

“This is just to keep the ball rolling,” Vogl said. “The developer is on track to start construction, we’re just trying to clean up each step along the way.”

In other business:

• The Planning Board amended with a 6-0 vote a conditional use permit for Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) to allow additional, minor, temporary impacts to the Conservation Overlay District (COD) buffer at the Scobie Pond Sub-Station.

PSNH requested the amendment to the permit, which was originally granted on Sept. 3, to allow additional impacts to the 100-foot COD buffer to Shields Brook of 476 square feet associated with the construction of a temporary excavation trench for a conduit and additional permanent impacts of 20 square feet associated with the installation of an auxiliary structure.

“There are already quite a few lines coming into the substation,” project wetland scientist Matthew Cardin told the Board. “This will prevent having to relocate a number of other lines. It’s the least invasive method.”

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