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Dollar General seeking variance on a second Wakefield location

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
February 11, 2017
WAKEFIELD — On Friday, Feb. 3, Sanbornville DG, LLC filed an application for a variance on a second Wakefield property. The variance requested would allow an 86- by 86-foot building to be constructed at 224 Meadow St. instead of the 70- by 70-foot maximum specified in the town's zoning.

In May 2015 Dollar General first proposed building a 70- by 130-foot store on the site of the historic Sanborn House at 134 Meadow St. There was strong opposition to this proposal, with several hundred residents spilling out of the hearing room on Sept. 17, 2015, when the plan was first presented to the planning board. A Facebook page named No Dollar General at the Sanborn House quickly attracted more than 1,800 members.

The planning board sent the applicant to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a variance on the size of the building. On May 16, 2016, the variance was denied and on June 27, 2016, a request to the ZBA for a rehearing was also denied. Dollar General then took the matter to Carroll County Superior Court. No hearings on that suit have been held.

The second site proposed at 224 Meadow St. is owned by Michael and Anne Wiggin, and though the building on the site dates back to 1852, it does not have the historic value of the Sanborn House, which was built as a hotel for passengers on the new railroad. It is also located on the corner of Meadow and Burroughs streets instead of the corner of Meadow and Forest Street, which is the main route to Paul School.

Regardless of site, however, there are many residents that do not want a Dollar General store in Sanbornville (feeling it belongs on Route 16 instead) and many more have argued that the proposed store is out of proportion to the residential neighborhood. The new store is shorter than that first proposed but wider.

The ZBA hearing on the variance will be held on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Wakefield Opera House.

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