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Zoning Board approves Family Dollar Store, auto garage


October 17, 2012
LITTLETON — The Zoning Board's discussion of the proposed Family Dollar Store concluded on Oct. 9. After debate among members, the board granted the applicant's request for a special exemption.

The store would be located at 252 Meadow Street, next to Pizza Hut.

The applicant originally presented information to the board in September. The matter was continued into October so that the board could receive information about management of runoff.

Last month, board member Sean Sweeney raised concerns about the lack of information on storm water runoff. At that meeting, the board was informed that the additional requirements could lead the applicant to withdraw the proposal.

Instead of withdrawing, however, the applicant, FD Littleton LLC, had a storm water plan prepared.

The main point of contention at last Tuesday's meeting was between board members. Vice Chairman Eddy Moore wondered why the board was requesting a detailed plan on storm water management.

Sweeney responded by noting the board's right to ensure that the applicant maintained an adequate facility. Moore replied that storm water issues are "not part of our zoning. We don't have site plan review." Regarding the board's request, Moore continued, "I don't see the necessity of it."

Moore also said that the state Department of Environmental Services, not a town zoning board, has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to runoff. "I don't think we supersede their needs or wants," Moore suggested.

Sweeney declared that the town's attorney concluded that the board's request was reasonable. Sweeney was concerned that the town lacked any say under Moore's approach. "Why should the people of Concord care more than the people of Littleton?" Sweeney asked. "We live here."

Moore was not persuaded. He argued that the board had not made requests on storm water runoff in similar applications. "I think it's selective enforcement," Moore said.

After the debate, the board was informed of various steps made to alleviate concerns discussed last month. Information was presented on water quality measures, setback modifications, and bollards to protect propane tanks.

The board quickly saw the virtues of the revised proposal. Both Sweeney and Tom Loughlin, another board member concerned last month, thought the revised plan was sound. In the final 4-1 vote to approve, Moore voted no.

Family Dollar's proposal includes a retail space of 8,000 square feet, as well as a parking lot of 25 spaces. The applicant purchased the 1.3-acre property for $300,000 earlier this year.

The second item before the board was a special exemption request from Tanis J. Tavernier. He currently serves as Lisbon's Police Chief. His request before the board was to build an auto garage on a 4.4-acre parcel on Mount Eustis Road.

Tavernier said that he had conversations with town officials on his plans. He said the build process would not start until next spring. Tavernier informed the board that he does not believe the building would be complete for another 12 to 18 months.

Tavernier said that plans are for a building with dimensions of about 40 feet by less than 100 feet. This would include four garage bays and an office area.

Board Chair Harold Bigelow asked Tavernier about storage of materials related to an auto garage operation. The applicant said that all such materials would be contained inside the structure.

Regarding the proposed location, Tavernier informed the board, "People say it's a little bit off the beaten path." Nonetheless, he suggested that his auto repair shop could serve nearby residents, as well as those who work at Industrial Park Road locations.

The board had no trouble seeing the virtue of a special exemption. There was neither debate among board members nor public dissent on Tavernier's application. The board unanimously approved the proposal.

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