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Author Topic: LT - Zoning Board Approves 20-Unit Condo Request  (Read 1073 times)
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« on: November 02, 2012, 06:14:05 AM »

From the Londonderry Times

Zoning Board Approves 20-Unit Condo Request

Jay Hobson
Londonderry Times

The Dionne Family Revocable Trust through its lawyer, Hollis Morgan, requested that the property at 381 Mammoth Road be granted a variance so it could be sold to a builder who wants to put 20 condominiums on the 9.82 acres.

The property, Morgan said, has 285 feet of frontage on Mammoth Road and that amount would preclude putting in an additional house.

He added that in order to get the most financial profit from the property, a road would have to be built into the property, with the dwelling placed along the road.
Morgan argued that eight individual single homes as allowed by ordinance would not be feasible from a profit standpoint, as the amount of work and building costs would be cost prohibitive.
Instead, Morgan suggested that 20 condominiums be built along a road that would be constructed, and that number of condos would help realize the property’s profit potential. “What the owners, in order to obtain a reasonable return on a 10-acre piece of land in Londonderry, would need is to build a road in order to get into the back of that property.
Once you build a road, between the road and some of the other site characteristics of that property, you end up with only eight house lots. It would seem that that would be a reasonable use of property,” Morgan said.
Morgan said that building a 1,000-foot road with eight house lots would not be feasible, considering the amount of costs and the land configuration. “The only way to make that property have any reasonable return is to increase the density greater than what your zoning ordinance allows,” Morgan argued.
Morgan produced a map showing the layout of the road and the location of the proposed condo units, which would be separate single-family units. The property is bordered by Mountain Home Estates, a 200-unit condominium complex, and across the street by Trail Haven Drive and Whittemore Estates, which is approved for 83 units of elderly housing.
Morgan added that due to the nature of Mammoth Road and its high travel volume and the businesses located there, the plan was to leave vacant the current vacant area that fronts Mammoth Road.
“There would be the road that would be built for access to the property, but there would be no house built there (along the road),” Morgan said. The proposal includes the road, which would be private, and the condos that would be built on half-acre parcels, not as subdivisions but as a single lot with a collection of units with separate and shared driveways.
“If you’ve been in cluster projects, you know how there are three or four houses clustered together and then open space,” Morgan said. Morgan also noted that a Realtor had stated that in today’s economy, with the type of neighbors that are in proximity to the property, building eight houses on the property would only yield about $325,000 per house and would be cost prohibitive.
Zoning Board clerk Neil Dunn, after looking at the document provided by Morgan, noted that the Realtor mentioned was also going to be the developer of the property.
The only resident in opposition was Brett LaBranche, who lives in the neighboring Mountain View Estates, who said he was not in favor of the project because of his experience as a former condominium association board member and president. He said that with the economy the way it is, he would oppose the project.
Dunn said he had “a real problem” with the fact that he believed that there was no reasonable use proven. Board member Larry O’Sullivan said he agreed that this was not a typical AR (agricultural/residential) neighborhood and as far as the gas pipeline was concerned, there was nothing to be done with it.
O’Sullivan made a motion to approve the variance and it passed three to two. Neil Dunn and Jay Hooley voted against the motion, and Larry O’Sullivan, Matthew Neuman and Jim Smith voted in favor.

Glenn Douglas
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