Raymond News

Planning Board Hears Application for 172-unit Townhouses on Route 102
By Penny Williams  4-26-17

A subdivision application for a proposed 172-unit condominium townhouse development proposed for 86 acres on Route 102 (Chester Road) in Raymond went before the Raymond Planning Board Thursday evening, April 20. The developer also applied for a special permit because it would impact jurisdictional wetlands.

Planning Board Chair Jim Kent said the board hoped to get through an overview of the project, consider whether the project has a regional impact, and hear from the public. Patrick Calhoun of Keach Nordstrom Associates presented the proposed plan.

Calhoun described the project, to be known as The Meadows, as subdividing the parcel into two lots - one of 9.048 acres for future commercial development and a second of 77.247 acres, where 43 buildings housing the 172 condo townhouses would be constructed. Each condo would have two bedrooms and garages, some with a one-car garage, some with two-car garages.

In addition, the development would include a clubhouse, mail station, and Dumpsters in two locations, with access to the parcel off Route 102. A curb cut permit will be needed from the state Department of Transportation, but all the roads within the proposed project accessing the units would be private and would branch off the initial roadway, to be named Daisy Way, that would enter from Route102.

Each condo unit would have the town-required three parking spaces, including garage space, and visitor parking would be dispersed throughout the development. The Meadows would tap into municipal water under Route 102 and once it is on the parcel, it would become a private water system, brought to a metering station and from there to the rest of the development.

The septic systems would have private leach fields, and there would be a closed road drainage system.

The second access at the end of Jenco Way would be an emergency access road only and would be gated. Wetlands impacts would occur for the significant pond situated on the property as well as the streams that exist, and access to the uplands for construction will require wetland crossings.

Calhoun said the plan has been to the Technical Review Committee, Conservation Commission and Highway Safety Committee, and a traffic study has been done. However, the traffic study’s scope has been expanded to include traffic counts in May. Later in the meeting, abutters suggested doing those expanded counts in June or July, once campers are coming through the area.

The Conservation Commission wants a site walk that includes a soil scientist before reporting its findings on the project. That walk was scheduled for Sunday, May 21, at 9 a.m., and will included Planning Board members.

Calhoun asked for the board's direction regarding two waivers he was seeking. The first dealt with the private roadways within the parcel, and asks that the roadways not be required to meet Raymond town road standards. He explained that the Meadows roadways are designed to meet public road standards even though they are narrower than Raymond roads, and do not require a 100-foot right-of-way. The waiver included a Fire Truck Exhibit Plan showing the trucks had room to turn and maneuver through the site, and calls for horizontal curves tighter than standard radius and straight tangents between curves that are shorter than the standard allows.

The second waiver requests that the site plan and subdivision plan sets be 30-scale rather than the required 20-scale. The board approved the waiver for the scale of the plans, and Calhoun agreed to wait until the next hearing for a decision on the road waiver request.

Despite the fact that the board determined that the proposed plan would have regional impact, it was decided to hear public input, with the proviso that input not be too technical or deal with engineering concerns.

During public input, Robert McDonald handed out a packet of information and questioned the financial stability of the project owners and developers. He said they are not properly registered in New Hampshire based on information he received from the Attorney General's Office, and said Sterling Homes is listed as inactive. He also questioned the business registrations of the Mardan Group and 1070 Holt Street. He said he wants to see a construction budget, the correct registration information for the applicant companies and who is responsible for limited liability for the project – basically wanting to know whom it is Raymond is dealing with and whether the developer has the financial standing to do the project.

Robin Jordan asked the board if it planned to proceed with due diligence regarding the issues raised by McDonald about the backers of the project. She was told the matter would be handled by the Town's attorney.

McDonald also handed out a second package with pictures showing roads in Raymond that are narrow and reflect the difficulties they pose to buses and pedestrians. He did not wish the Planning Board to approve the road waiver.

McDonald has retained a land use attorney, Scott Hogan, who was present at the meeting and questioned where the site plan was. He was shown that the site plan had indeed been provided and was in the posted meeting information.

Hogan also raised a concern about the project density numbers, and Calhoun responded that the density calculations were submitted to the Technical Review Committee and that poorly and very poorly drained soils are provided on the plan set. Hogan emphasized that the process must be close to perfect in proceedings such as these.

McDonald also raised questions about soil calculations as noted in the review letter from the Town Engineers, DuBois & King. These deal with calculations regarding density and note that the engineers had not been able to calculate the project density (units per acre) because poor and very poor soils and steep slopes had not been identified on the plan set. McDonald also complained that the septic systems are not shown on the plan set, which makes the drainage considerations questionable.

And he repeated a previous concern that water, ground water contamination, and stream or pond overflow caused by blasting or the septic systems would find their way to his property and contaminate his well and property.

Terry Austrew of 4 Mark Lane questioned the development’s impact on the elementary school, which he said is already at capacity. He also said he thought there would be an illumination impact from the many cars that would be in the subdivision, and he raised a concern about children walking along the narrow roads.

Linda Mulligan raised a concern about the traffic impact of additional cars coming onto Route 102 and asked that the speed limit on that road be dropped, and Tim Simard questioned whether there would be issues with his well as a result of the potential blasting at the project.

After hearing public comment, the Planning Board approved continuing the hearing to June 15 and set the site walk for May 21 at 9 a.m.

Here is the link to the first story.

Major Residential Development Proposed for Raymond
















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