Peterborough planning board gives approval to RiverMead Village expansion

  • Peterborough Planning Board members Alan Zeller, Joe Hanlon and Chair Ivy Vann discuss plan for expansion of the Village neighborhood at RiverMead on Monday.(Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Peterborough Planning Board members Alan Zeller and Joe Hanlon discuss plan for expansion of the Village neighborhood at RiverMead on Monday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/21/2017 6:51:07 PM

The Peterborough Planning Board gave its approval on Monday for RiverMead to begin an extensive renovation and construction project that will ultimately add more than 50 new apartments to its campus.

RiverMead will be applying shortly for building permits for the first half of its project, which includes building two 12-unit villas and two duplex cottages on the side of the campus known as the “Village,” which it hopes to begin constructing as early as July, said Bill James, the CEO of RiverMead, a retirement community that offers independent, assisted and memory care facilities. 

“We were presented an approval in one meeting, which is heartening,” said James in an interview on Wednesday. 

James said the plan is to begin construction of the cottages and moving a maintenance building this summer, and the larger villas in the fall, with the project planned to be completed in the first half of 2018.

There were few objections raised as the Planning Board reviewed the site plan documents. Member Rich Clark had concerns about the number of trucks that might be using the bridge on Powersbridge Road, and how well it could stand up to the strain. James indicated that he would be willing to agree to avoid the bridge if that was a concern of the board.

Several residents of RiverMead also attended the meeting, but didn’t raise any protests over the proposed construction. Several asked to preserve a walking path that would be eliminated by removing an access road as part of the plan. The Planning Board agreed that it was preferable to keep known walking routes intact and accessible, and made that a condition of their approval.

While RiverMead anticipates getting started on the Village improvements next month, the company will also be filing a separate site plan review and request for a variance for an additional building project on the other half of its campus, known as the “Mead.” 

The board heard a design review of the second half of the project, which includes renovations to the main facility, including renovating the health and wellness, community and dining spaces, and adding two new 12-unit apartment villas in the other village.

The renovations include building an addition to the health center. While RiverMead currently has classes for aerobics and other exercise, they generally hold them in the campus’ auditorium or Village hall. This addition will add additional space for exercise classes and equipment adjacent to the facility’s existing pool. 

The Mead plan also would include new sidewalk construction, which residents present at Monday’s meeting spoke in favor of.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 

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