Self-Storage Facility Proposal Goes Before Planning Board

The Planning Board considered at its Sept. 10 meeting plans for a proposed commercial self-storage facility on Mammoth Road.

The development is a good use of the property and the new business won’t be disruptive to the neighborhood, as self-storage facilities aren’t “the liveliest of places” and don’t generate a great deal of traffic, Steven Keach of Keach-Nordstrom Associates, Inc., an engineering services company in Bedford, told the board.

Conceptual plans for the storage facility feature four free-standing, single-story self-storage buildings. The total space those buildings would occupy is approximately 58,900 square feet.

A conservation overlay easement on the property would remain undisturbed.

Each building would feature unheated and climate controlled storage units. Nothing would be stored outside the storage units on the property, and the units would not be used to store cars, boats, trailers or campers.

An approximately 750-square-foot space in one of the storage buildings would be reserved for an office with a bathroom. Keach said developer Gordon Welch plans to have service connections to water, sewer and gas utilities available at the frontage of the parcels he is looking to acquire.

Parking spaces are to be situated near the office for employees, as well as throughout the storage facility so that patrons may park in front of their units. Low-level lighting during night hours will be modest and generally limited to what is required for site security, Keach said.

Members of the board had no major concerns with the proposal other than the single, gated entrance to the facility on Smith Lane.

“I’m concerned Smith Lane is not wide enough to be safe,” member John Laferriere said, adding that motorists coming off Mammoth Road may not have enough brake time when a car is pulling out of the facility.

Other recommendations included landscaping to minimize the amount of light that would spill off the property at night; and working with abutters, especially the owner of a neighboring daycare center, to ensure the project is received favorably.

Member Scott Benson said while the storage facility isn’t the use he would want to see for the parcel, it does need to be developed. He asked the developer to consider the aesthetics of the buildings and to make the facility as attractive as possible.

Keach told the board Welch has constructed large storage facilities in Merrimack and Manchester that don’t have the typical appearance of a storage facility and that the developer includes in his proposal for the new facility landscaping to “create a tasteful image that has typified similar facilities he has constructed in the past.”

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