Boscawen planning board unanimously approves site plan for Dollar General

Monitor staff
Published: 11/8/2017 12:16:01 AM

After more than a year of meetings, revisions and one lawsuit, the Boscawen planning board voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow Dollar General to build a store on King Street.

It’s the furthest that Bohler engineering, the firm that represents Dollar General, has made it in the process to gain approval for the store.

Now, any in opposition to Dollar General putting a store on King Street will have 30 days to file an appeal. The earliest a building permit could be given is a month from now if no appeals are filed, Boscawen Planning and Community Development Director Alan Hardy said.

The board created a list of conditions for the proposal’s approval, addressing concerns that have been repeated by residents in the last year, like whether delivery trucks will be able to safely navigate King Street and the store’s parking lot.

The board created a condition stating that Dollar General use no truck larger than a WB-50 for deliveries, and that delivery trucks, storage and signage not obstruct the store’s 30 approved parking spaces. The store will not be permitted to place loudspeakers or display merchandise outside.

The board asked that the store’s fencing be made of a white vinyl material, and that Dollar General’s building and grounds be “maintained consistently in good order.”

Dollar General will pay for town of Boscawen engineers – Underwood Engineers Inc. – to oversee construction and make sure the store meets the board’s requirements.

Bohler Engineering first submitted plans on Dollar General’s behalf in May 2016 when the company applied for five zoning variances for a 9,100-square-foot store. After two rounds with the zoning board, each including several continued hearings and multiple variances denied, the store made adjustments to their plan and resubmitted their application. Bohler engineering representatives went back before the Boscawen planning board in January to propose a 7,500-square-foot store.

The planning board issued a conditional approval for the site plan in April, a decision that was contested by two abutters, Andy Newcomb and Elaine Clow, who brought a lawsuit in Merrimack County Superior Court saying that the town violated townspeople’s rights when they didn’t give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions when Dollar General submitted plans for a smaller store.

After two meetings of public hearing on Aug. 29 and Sept. 12, the store’s proposal was approved again.

After Tuesday’s meeting, abutter Newcomb said he planned to go back to Merrimack Superior Court and appeal the decision for a second time. He said he would do so until he felt the board had done their “due diligence” in reviewing Dollar General’s plan.

“We’re going to keep hitting the repeat button as long as we have to,” Newcomb said.

The store is an estimated $1.2 million construction project, according to a report contracted by Dollar General and completed by Massachusetts consultant RKG Associates.

It would provide an average of 10 jobs and boost other businesses nearby, according to the report. Boscawen’s Dollar General would be the 29th built in New Hampshire in the last five years.

Dollar General plans for 10 transactions an hour between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week. Deliveries, pickups and offsite snow removal would occur during off-peak hours between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322, or on Twitter @LeahMWillingham.)

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