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Peterborough

Route 101 condo project gets first look

  • Jack Belletete describes his plan for a condominium development on the former Lobacki egg farm property to the Peterborough Planning Board.
  • Jack Belletete describes his plan for a condominium development on the former Lobacki egg farm property to the Peterborough Planning Board.
  • Jack Belletete describes his plan for a condominium development on the former Lobacki egg farm property to the Peterborough Planning Board.
  • Jack Belletete describes his plan for a condominium development on the former Lobacki egg farm property to the Peterborough Planning Board.

PETERBOROUGH — Developer Jack Belletete, who is looking to build 30 condominium units on a seven-acre lot off Route 101 near Lobacki Drive, gave Planning Board members a first look at his proposal at an informal design review on March 3.

Belletete’s initial plan calls for five buildings, which would each hold six one-floor, two-bedroom units with a garage, built on a slab foundation. He is planning to extend town water and sewer lines to the lot, which is set back from Route 101. The condos would share an entrance from the state highway with the new church that is planned by Divine Mercy Parish. Belletete is planning to subdivide the 14 acres that he owns, with half the lot being sold to the Catholic parish and the rest to serve as the site for the condos.

“We’re trying to do some affordable housing here,” Belletete said. “I’m trying to get it to work so we could sell these for under $160,000 and keep condo fees at a lower rate.”

Belletete, who is president of the Belletetes building supply and hardware chain, said the units would be good starter homes for a young person or couple and would allow people who don’t earn a high income to live in Peterborough.

“I employ a lot of people that can’t afford $250,000 for a condo,” he said.

The units could also attract older residents who don’t want to continue maintaining large homes or who might want to live in Peterborough part of the year and in a warmer climate during the winter months.

The design review was an opportunity for Planning Board members to give Belletete feedback before he presents a formal plan.

Board Chair Ivy Vann said she was concerned that the design calls for garages on the front of the units, which she said was incompatible with traditional New England architecture. She also suggested that the roofs should be more steeply pitched and suggested that Belletete should extend the planned sidewalk in front of the units all the way to Route 101 and asked him to consider a rain garden to deal with water runoff rather that the proposed fenced in retention pond.

“It’s important to remember that buildings are supposed to be worth saving into the future,” Vann said. “How is this project going to wear in the long run?”

Belletete said the pitch of the roofs could easily be changed, but not the location of the garages.

“We have no way to do it otherwise, and people want to have a garage,” he said.

He said his focus is on keeping the cost of the units relatively low.

“I pride myself on aesthetics too,” he said. “ We can try to address these issues. Whatever we do increases the cost.”

“I would hate to see us decide that the only way we can have housing that is at a market rate that’s open to more people is to make it less interesting,” Vann replied.

Board member Rich Clark spoke in favor of Belletete’s plan.

“This is nice, in my opinion,” Clark said. “It opens up that bottom of the market for people to live here and spend their money here.”

“We certainly have a shortage of units,” said Select Board member Barbara Miller, who serves as an ex officio member of the Planning Board.

After the meeting, Belletete said he hopes to present a formal site plan for review by the Planning Board in April or May.

“I’d like to get going on this by the end of the summer,” he said.

Love the idea. Any planning/project that Mr Belletete oversees will be in the the best interest of the people of Peterborough. He is a good neighbor to peterborough, and an added value to the monadnock region.

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