Plans for Peterborough detox center continue to be reviewed

  • Planning Board Chair Ivy Vann discusses the potential issues with a proposed detox center planned for Route 202. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:51AM

The Peterborough Planning Board got a second look at conceptual plans for a detox center planned off the Route 101 corridor.

The detox center is still in the preliminary consultation portion of the approval process. A preliminary consultation is a non-binding meeting between developers of a potential project and the Planning Board to identify any potential issues prior to an official application being submitted.

The board looked at an overhead view of the property, proposed to be built on two parcels located behind the Ocean State Plaza shopping mall.

The board expressed concerns related to the large parking lot which would be located at the side of the building, which the plan showed to have 41 spaces.

The board questioned whether that many spaces would be necessary.

“If there’s not a compelling reason to have it, we’d prefer not to have it,” said Planning Board Chair Ivy Vann.

A representative for the 1810 Realty Group, which is proposing the detox center, told the board that shifts are likely to consist of about 15 employees at a time, and that a lot of 25 spaces could be adequate.

Vann suggested that if the lot were reduced, then the facade of the building could be pulled forward to be more in line with the entrance road, which she said would be her preference for the building’s aesthetics.

Tracy Baran, general counsel for Ocean State Job Lots, said that the owners with the plaza were only concerned that traffic not be diverted through the plaza as a through way.

Parking at Noone Falls

The board got a first look at a proposed single-story 10-space parking garage that would be constructed over a portion of the existing parking lot, with frontage on Old Jaffrey Road.

Charlie Cobb, the owner of Noone Falls, explained that the enclosed garages would be used for potential owners of condominiums on the property if they are approved and constructed, and their potential residents have interest.

Cobb presented a preliminary drawing of the garages, which he said are based on the garage at the Unitarian Church.

Currently, the garage is set within the 30-foot setback requirement, and would require that Cobb get a variance. However, if a proposed zoning amendment passes at the ballot on May 8, Cobb’s plans would be allowed within the new rules, and he could move forward with a site plan review.

“Your best bet may be to wait until May 9 and find out what rules you’re working with,” said Vann. 

Cobb also agreed with that assessment and told the board he would hold off on filing an application until zoning had been decided.

A private cemetery 

The Planning Board began a public hearing on subdividing a piece of property to section off a portion surrounding the Revolutionary Cemetery on Old Street Road and abutting the Robbe-Stewart Cemetery that would function as a private burial ground. 

The land is owned by Lavinia Clay, who would like to separate the piece from her residential property and place it in a trust so that it can be used as a burial ground for her family members in perpetuity, even if the majority of the property is sold.

Some neighbors had questions, but overall, didn’t seem overly perturbed by the concept, especially as a condition of the trust would be to keep the land from being developed.

“If her proposal is to set this aside and prevent if from being developed, that sounds pretty good to me,” said Jim Janetos, an Old Street Road resident.

The Planning Board seemed to agree with that sentiment but did have concerns with a tennis court on the residential property, which would be too close to the newly created property line, which will likely have to be addressed either by adjusting the lot line or applying for a variance for the setback requirements. 

The Planning Board waived several requirements for information about features on the property, on the basis that once placed in trust, the property would not be used for development.

The board continued the hearing to its next meeting on May 14.


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