Planning Board Gives Fueling Center Conditional Approval

HAMPSTEAD – Tropic Star Development was back at the Planning Board this week with the final version of its site plan, and despite the absence of its state permit, the board granted conditional approval to the project. Tropic Star plans to build a fueling station and convenience store on Route 121 adjacent to its intersection with Route 111.

The plan calls for a 4,146-square-foot convenience store with six pumps servicing 12 fueling sites. The lot has 284 feet of frontage on Route 111 and 370 feet of frontage on Route 121.
The developers are adding a right-turn lane southbound on Route 121 turning into the station and may add another right-turn lane onto Route 111. They will also improve the traffic light system and remove the raised islands that now exist.
The only hold-up is the finalization of the changes to the traffic light, which is being worked out between the developer’s engineers and the state. All of the required easements and all the changes to the site plan required by the state have been recorded on the latest site plan.
Only Suzanne Zakian, an abutter, was present for the hearing, and the questions she asked had all been answered at one time or another. She remains concerned about the hours of operation, the lighting, and the size of fuel delivery trucks. The hours of operation remain vague but 24-hour operation was not on the table. The lights will be dimmed when the business closes at night, which may be about 11 p.m. The size of the delivery truck is controlled by the fuel delivery company’s permit and the permit given to the fueling station, and that remains a small size truck.
When Tropic Star gets its state permit, construction can be started. The developers are looking to begin construction in the spring.
In other business at the Monday, Dec. 2 meeting:
• Hannaford plans to add a program for people to call in their grocery order and pick it up in a designated area in the present parking lot.
Hannaford asked the board whether it wanted a full application for the project or whether it could move forward as re-striping of parking only. The board had concerns over the placement of the parking spaces for pick-up and a canopy, as well as concerns over disruption of traffic, both vehicle and foot, and voted to have the project presented as a full application at its next meeting in January.
• The board approved and forwarded a zoning article to the warrant that would make the Board of Selectmen responsible for changing construction and inspection fees but not penalty fees. It also approved an article that would include the Town Office building, the Civic Club building, the bandstand, the Cobbler Shop and the field in Historical Zone E. The article was approved and moved forward but an informational paragraph will be added to clarify it.
• The board declined for a second time to approve a proposed stone wall ordinance. After considerable discussion, the board preliminarily adopted the basic language of Danbury, New Hampshire’s stone wall ordinance, amending it to fit Hampstead, and will post this for a public hearing. The ordinance is just two sentences and would likely read: “Land use activity may not alter the location of or remove any roadside stone wall which was made for the purpose of marking the boundary of or which borders any public road in the Town of Hampstead until reviewed by the Hampstead Historic District Heritage Committee and approved by the Planning Board or the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Exemptions: driveways and points of access approved by appropriate state or local authorities.”
The board will finalize the wording of the ordinance when it is presented at a public hearing during the board’s Jan. 6 meeting.
• The board heard from Eric Tinker, who proposed ordinance language for attached and unattached accessory building size and use. Tinker is concerned over Jeffrey Meaney, 12 Sarah’s Way, who plans to build a 4,800-square-foot accessory building to house his collection of 21 antique and classic cars.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment, as previously reported in the Tri-Town Times, denied the unattached construction of such a building but Meaney was able to get a building permit for an attached building because there are no requirements concerning size and use of an attached building on the books.
The board assigned member Neil Emerson to form a committee to work with Tinker in developing requirements for attached building size and use.

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