Church, condo plans reviewed

Designs taking shape for projects on proposed new public road off Route 101

  • Chris Nadeau of Nobis Engineering describes the plan for Divine Mercy Parish's new church to the Peterborough Planning Board.
  • Chris Nadeau of Nobis Engineering describes the plan for Divine Mercy Parish's new church to the Peterborough Planning Board.

PETERBOROUGH — Plans for both Divine Mercy Parish’s new church building and a 30-unit condominium project, which would share a new public road off Route 101, moved ahead last week, when the Planning Board held public hearings of a subdivision request and a proposed site plan for the church. Both applications were accepted and will get further review at the Planning Board’s April meeting.


Developer Jack Belletete is requesting a subdivision, in order to divide a 14-acre lot on the south side of Route 101, the side of the former Lobacki egg farm, to create two lots. A 6.5-acre parcel on the east would become the site of a 312-seat church and a 152-seat function hall, which would replace the Catholic parish’s buildings on Vine Street, which the parish has outgrown. Belletete wants to build the 30 condominium units on the other half of the property and is in the process of developing a plan to present to the Planning Board.

At a Planning Board meeting on March 10, Chris Nadeau of Nobis Engineering said Belletete plans to build a 24-foot wide access road into the lots, the first 330 feet of which would be a public road. He said the state has issued a driveway permit and the entrance to Route 101 from the road would be widened to allow easy access. The developers will bring in an 8-inch water line and a sewer line to connect to town water and sewer systems, and will build a sewage lift system and access road along an easement on the lot where the condos are planned.

Planning Board Chair Ivy Vann said the new road would require a street light at the intersection with Route 101. She also said the developer should get feedback from the town’s Public Works Department regarding the width of the road and whether it should be 20 feet wide with gravel shoulders, which is the town standard, rather than 24 feet wide with no shoulders.

The board accepted the application as essentially complete and voted to continue discussion at its April meeting, after Nadeau and Belletete have had a chance to work with the Public Works Department to refine the plan.

Divine Mercy buildings

At a site plan review hearing immediately following the discussion of the subdivision request, Nadeau said the plan for a new Divine Mercy church has been revised slightly in response to questions raised when the project was unveiled at a conceptual review by the Planning Board in October 2013.

Parking has been moved to the side of the building. The parking plan shows 117 spaces and included more handicapped accessible parking than is required by the town.

An area at the southwest corner of the lot is shown as a future parking area, which could hold 34 additional spaces. Nadeua said that area would be loamed and seeded when the church is built.

Architect Jonathan Halle, of the Concord firm Warren Street Architects, said the design would be a traditional New England-style church. It will have a 175-foot steeple and will be about 13,000 square feet in size.

Board members discussed the location of retention basins, light fixtures for the parking lot and the landscaping plan. They said the plan to screen the church building from the future condominiums shows trees on the land that will eventually be the property of the condominium owners. That screening should be adjusted, they said, so all plantings would be on the parish’s property.

Both Halle and a representative of the diocese of Manchester requested that the board give a sense of whether the project could move forward quickly. Board members agreed that it could, provided additional details to the site plan can be added, and they tabled discussion until their April meeting, when they will continue the public hearing.

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