Belletetes expansion continues

  • Zoning board chair Lee Sawyer examines a map during Wednesday’s meeting.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Representing Belletetes, civil engineer Jeffrey Kevan points out various aspects of the proposed project on a rendered map.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ZBA member Phil Cournoyer listens to abutter Randy Christmas voice his displeasure about the proposed Belletetes project.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Abutter Justin Grandy said Wednesday that he was concerned that new construction at Belletetes could lower his property value.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Attorney Silas Little, representing abutter Randy Christmas, spoke against the project.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Abutter Robert Aho spoke against the proposed project, concerned that additional buildings would negatively impact his day-to-day life.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Abutter Randy Christmas spoke against the proposed project, saying that much of the storm water from Belletetes already is funneled to his property.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jack Belletete was on hand to answer questions and talk about the project.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Zoning Board members Lee Sawyer, left, and Andrew Webber discuss the Belletetes project.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 10, 2017 7:26PM

Belletetes in Jaffrey is one step closer to being able to construct two new buildings after being granted three variances from the town’s Zoning Board on Saturday.

The proposed project entails constructing a 7,200 square-foot maintenance garage on land that abuts Nutting Road and the company’s 51 Peterborough Street location to the north, and a 13,440 square-foot material storage warehouse abutting the Peterborough Street property to the east and Peterborough Street itself.

“Having experienced some good growth and new products, we have a need for more space,” said Belletetes President Mike Shea, in an interview Monday morning. 

Representatives from Belletetes met with the Zoning Board on Wednesday, but deliberations were pushed to Saturday after the board decided to hold a site walk on Friday.

Three zoning ordinances were unanimously approved on Saturday: permitting the filling in of two small man-made wetlands, permitting impervious cover within the wetlands conservation district, permitting pavement within the town’s required 30-foot setbacks for the general business district. 

A fourth variance – requesting to permit commercial use in the residential A district – was withdrawn after Belletetes decided to drop a proposed third building, which was scheduled to be built on land off Sunset Lane behind McDonald’s. 

“A large part of it was pushback from abutters,” said Shea, who said Belletetes always tries to be a good neighbor. “We will look at our existing campus to try to find ways to add space.”

Eight people in total spoke against the project with abutters Robert Aho and Randy Christmas being the most vocal.

“I want to call this go big or go home,” said Aho, who said that if all three buildings were constructed, he would have had Belletetes on four of the five sides of his Sunset Lane property. “This is plan A for them. I assure you they have a plan B and even a Plan C.”

Aho said noise and air pollution, trash and water runoff going onto his property, and safety issues surrounding trucks driving on Sunset Lane were all concerns to him. 

Christmas, whose attorney Silas Little also spoke, said he was most concerned with the amount of storm water runoff that has come from Belletetes onto his property. 

“I don’t want the water on my property,” said Christmas, who said the water has pulled trash – most notably a hypodermic needle – onto his property. “Unless they fix this issue, we shouldn’t be talking [about this new project.]”

Project Civil Engineer Jeffrey Kevan of TF Moran said during the meeting Wednesday that part of the project includes installing a storm water filtration and detention system that will improve detention and the quality of water leaving the property. 

Belletetes had also originally sought a special exception to allow accessory structures within the wetlands conservation district, but withdrew the application during Saturday’s meeting, after the board debated voting against it because the structures proposed would be much too large for to be considered accessory structures. It was also discussed whether the exception applied to the project. 

Shea said Monday that he felt Belletetes had achieved everything needed through the Zoning Board and will now move onto a preliminary conceptual hearing with the Planning Board on Tuesday, July 11. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will allow the board to offer guidance to Belletetes regarding the proposed project.