October 31, 2007 
Abutters air condo complaints

Goffstown News Correspondent

Abutters of a proposed 92-unit condo development on Bog Road aired concerns at a Planning Board hearing about the suitability of the site and neighborhood in accommodating so many people.

The approximately 60-acre property, located between Bog Road and Mountain Road, has had a history of development attempts to build multifamily housing and residents’ resistance to those attempts.

The Thursday, Oct. 25, Planning Board hearing was no different.

Attorney Morgan Hollis and engineer Eric Mitchell presented plans on behalf of developer James Coughlin of Woodlands Trust. The plans call for 92 two-bedroom units on a subdivision of 37.11 acres with an entrance on Bog Road, and a single or duplex home on a subdivision of approximately 30 acres with an entrance on Evergreen Drive.

Hollis said this application differs significantly from a previous 2005 application in several aspects, including the location and layout of the units in the northwest quadrant where the property is “high and dry,” and a conservation easement on significant portions of the property. 

The applicant also proposed extending sewer and water lines from the Mountain Road station, and to build a traffic circle at the intersection of Mast Road and Route 113 to raise the intersection’s grade from failing to an A or B.

About eight residents and concerned citizens spoke against the proposal before being cut short for lack of time.

Longtime abutter Cathy Whooten, of Mountain Road, said it was premature to discuss traffic studies and development plans without first assessing the character of the land. 

“We have experienced terrific flooding in this area,” she said “I think that we need to get a handle on what this land is. How wet is it going to be? Are we going to continually flood?”

Amy Hardee, of Lesnyk Road, agreed.

She said “It just doesn’t make sense to put all those people where the water is going to be.”

Other residents pointed out the recent expansion of wetland areas, the possible devaluation of properties, interruption of wildlife patterns, and the toll it would take on town resources and on Bog and Mountain roads.

“We all feel strongly,” said Cathy Przekaza of 27 Drive, who prepared an extensive presentation but was cut short by the lack of time. “It just doesn’t match our neighborhood.”

The board moved to continue the hearing to Dec. 13. 

“The process has just begun,” said Planning Board Chairman JoAnn Duffy. “There’s a lot more material we have to review.”

The Conservation Commission will do a site walk on Saturday, Nov. 10.

There have been several contention-filled attempts to develop the property dating back to the 1980s. The latest attempt in 2005, for 92 three-bedroom and two-bedroom units on about 60 acres, was denied by the Zoning Board of Approval in January 2006. 

Woodland Trust appealed the decision in court and the case is currently continued to an undetermined date.


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