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Boscawen still waiting on decision for second Dollar General lawsuit

  • Boscawen is one of several area towns in which Dollar General is looking to set up shop. Monitor file

  • Boscawen resident Andy Newcomb speaks during a public hearing about a proposed Dollar General in Boscawen on Aug. 29, 2017. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor file

  • Bohler Engineering representative Austin Turner speaks during a public hearing about a proposed Dollar General in Boscawen on Aug. 29, 2017. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor file



Monitor staff
Sunday, May 27, 2018

For one general in Boscawen, the battle isn’t over.

The second lawsuit brought against the town by neighbors of the proposed site of a new Dollar General store is still going on.

Andrew Newcomb and Elaine Clow, who both live next door to the proposed store on King Street, claim that the planning board’s decision to approve Dollar General’s site plan for a 7,500- square-foot store in November was “illegal and unreasonable,” and are looking for the decision to be revoked and for compensation of legal fees, according to court documents.

Clow and Newcomb cited conflicts surrounding snow removal, traffic and fire code violations among the reasons for their appeal.

The neighbors previously appealed the decision in May 2017 until another hearing was conducted where the public could voice concerns about the project, but the petitioners decided to appeal again because they felt the public comment “wholly fell on deaf ears,” according to court documents.

“It was clear that the planning board was simply going through the motions with no intention of actually taking the issues raised by the petitioners into consideration,” Clow and Newcomb’s complaint reads.

By approving Dollar General’s plan, the petitioners claim that town boards violated zoning ordinances that require an “aesthetically pleasing development,” in the town. They also claim that the planning board refused “necessary” requests to conduct a traffic study in the area at the expense of the applicant.

They allege that the radius of the proposed entrance to the Dollar General store encroaches into a neighbor’s land, and that the store’s snow storage plan may not comply with the town’s site plan regulations.

Dollar General entered into Clow and Newcomb’s lawsuit as an intervenor on March 5. The company said that there had been 10 zoning board meetings and eight planning board meetings over the course of two years to discuss the implementation of the store – plenty of time for the town to address all of the public’s concerns.

“While Boscawen DG, LLC understands that Ms. Clow and Mr. Newcomb are not enthused about the proposed project, the fact remains that the Project is in compliance with site plan requirements and applicable zoning ordinances, has been thoroughly vetted by both the Boscawen Planning and Zoning boards, and all of the issues complained of by the petitioners in this appeal have been addressed by the Town of Boscawen ad nauseam,” Boscawen DG, LLC’s response to the lawsuit reads.

The Boscawen planning board also created 12 conditions for the company to build a store, including that Dollar General use no truck larger than a WB-50 for deliveries, and they don’t place loudspeakers or display merchandise outside.

A Merrimack County Superior Court judge is reviewing the case.

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