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‘Agrihood’ project passes biggest hurdles 

  • Developers with plans for the Stone Barn in Peterborough have received multiple permissions needed to develop the property with condos, a cafe, and working farm.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Developers with plans for the Stone Barn in Peterborough have received multiple permissions needed to develop the property with condos, a cafe, and working farm.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, November 23, 2018 11:8AM

The Peterborough Planning Board granted several key permissions to a proposed condominium project Monday night.

Developer Village at Stone Barn has proposed renovating the Old Street Road property known as the Stone Barn, expanding the existing barn and converting it to condo units and a cafe space, as well as constructing additional condo buildings and parking garages surrounding a working farm space in an “agrihood” model. 

Though the plan will still have to go through a site plan review process, and get approval for a property subdivision before construction can move forward, the Planning Board gave the OK Monday for two requested conditional use permits, and permissions for wetlands encroachment. Without those permissions, the project would have been unable to move forward, at least in its current form.

“The site plan review process, the subdivision, those are largely checking the boxes and checking for completeness,” Peterborough Community Development Director Peter Throop said in an interview Tuesday. “The big hurdles for this project were the conditional use permits.”

The proposal needed several permissions in order to move forward. The proposal included three or more dwelling units on a single lot, and the cafe and a proposed multi-use space both required the board grant conditional use permits. The proposal also included renovating the barn to hold 14 condos, where the town’s building code only allows a maximum of 10 units per building by right.

The stone barn was built by Elizabeth Cheney Kaufmann in 1910, and was first used as a cow and horse barn, though it’s not been in use since the 1940s. The current proposal is one of many that has been before the Planning Board with a plan to convert the barn into a residential development. 

The proposal in its current form would have 14 units in the stone barn, an additional three units in an addition built onto the back of the barn, and three separate condo buildings, holding a total of another 13 units. There would also be three carports, one a two-story garage, built on the property.

The units are proposed to be between 600 and 1,400 square feet, and cost between $200,00 and $400,000.

Amelia Tracey, the developer of the project, said in an interview Wednesday that about half of the units have been reserved by potential residents.

“Which is super positive,” she said. “I don’t know that any other development in the state has seen that kind of response.”

Tracey said she is in the process of finding a farmer who will be a resident of one of the units and run the agricultural aspect of the “agrihood.” 

“It’s a process and it’s a relationship we have to build,” she said.

Tracey said she anticipates a final decision on the remaining approvals during the Planning Board’s next meeting. If those final approvals are granted, she said, the project will break ground in the spring.

The Planning Board will meet next regarding the Stone Barn project on Dec. 17 in the Town House. 

 

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