Chester College Properties Set for Planning Board Aug. 7

CHESTER – On Wednesday, Aug. 7, the planning board will sit down with those who are looking to repurpose the Chester College of New England property during two site plan reviews. The board is set to meet first with Phil Cassista, who recently obtained a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for use of the 2.17 acre parcel that houses Nutting Hall. Cassista wants to use the property for office space for his Nashua-based technology firm Impellimax, and for a side business of creating specialty electric harps.

Cassista has been clear that his business will fit nicely into the current space without the need for changes to the exterior of the structure. Also set to meet with the board that night is Peter Smith, who is working with the college and its representation to purchase the bulk of the property. He is seeking a two-lot subdivision.

Engineering company TF Moran and members of the NAI Norwood Group, which is marketing the property, have met a couple of times already with the ZBA to discuss plans to pull a 1.1 acre parcel off the approximately 70 remaining acres. That 1.1 acres contains the Lane and Powers buildings, and the Norwood Group has made it clear that keeping the property attached to the bulk of the property is a roadblock to selling the larger piece. The 1.1 acre piece would require four variances to fit town codes.

Some members of the ZBA have expressed a desire to see what Smith intends to do with the main property before moving forward with deciding on variance requests for the smaller piece. Smith, who has previously met with the planning board, wants to use a portion of the remaining 69 acres of the property for elderly housing.
The meeting begins at 7:45 p.m. at the municipal complex.

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