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Residents voice concerns over new warehouse facility

May 06, 2009
MOULTONBORO — Plans from a local water bottling company to expand their facility have some residents worried about the impact that the business will have on their neighborhood.

CG Roxane, a water bottling company located at the top of the hill on Ossipee Park Road, is seeking approval from the Moultonboro Planning Board to open a new area to their facility at the bottom of the hill. The intended project would be a warehouse with parking space for 14 tractor-trailers. Explaining the situation, Planning Board Chair Judy Ryerson said CG Roxane told the board that they wanted to open this new facility to help the company on busy days, or when the winter weather is too bad. Ryerson said that the company told the board that if the main facility was too busy or the weather was too bad for tractor-trailers to try and make it up Ossipee Park Road, they would be contacted and asked to stop at the facility at the bottom of the hill.

Water could also be stored at the facility, Ryerson said, with the company rotating and refreshing the water on a regular basis.

What the Planning Board is now trying to reconcile, Ryerson said, is the size of the facility, the concerns of neighbors on truck traffic and noise, and about the effect of the facility on local storm water flow. The planned warehouse is 30,000 sq. feet, more than what regulations allow, Ryerson said.

"The Planning Board is concerned with the number of trucks to go up (the road)," Ryerson said. "There are traffic concerns with the warehouse on Ossipee Park Road, the storm water flow, which requires a permit from the Department of Environmental Services, and noise."

The board members aren't the only ones concerned about the new warehouse facility. Several residents living in the surrounding area wrote in to the Planning Board, addressing concerns they had about the new facility.

"Having spent most of my adult life as an owner and manager of truck transportation companies, I am very familiar with the industry. I know that in cold weather, truckers leave their rigs to run all night to avoid fuel gel and to keep the cab warm," wrote Edward Peterson, who owns land abutting the property where CG Roxane intends to built. "Air brakes squeal, jake brakes bellow, and engines roar. The big rigs leak oil and fuel and the solid particles from diesel combustion settle to the ground. I wonder how many of you would want to live next to this? I had intended to build my retirement home on my land, now I am of a wait and see attitude."

Other letters worried about the impact this would have on the neighborhood, on people walking alongside the road, and in the area's general attractiveness to tourists coming up the road to go see Castle in the Clouds. The concerns of most, however, dealt with the truck traffic coming up and down Ossipee Park Road, and wondered if CG Roxane or the town could enforce the trucking regulations.

"The board is concerned about trucks moving down the road," said Ryerson. "The noise from the facility, the jake brakes on the trucks - there was a discussion about this. Truckers are independent."

Numerous attempts to contact a representative of CG Roxane were unsuccessful.

In data submitted to the board on the number of trucks going through Ossipee Park Road began steadily increasing, from an average of 15 trucks per day in 2006, 21 trucks per day in 2007, and 22 trucks per day in 2008. The average can climb to 25-30 per day during peak production months in summer. This is still under the Planning Board's approved maximum limit of 40 trucks per day.

Cristina Ashjian, another resident in the neighborhood, urged the board to complete an independent traffic study to gage the potential impact of the warehouse. In a March letter to the board, she urged them to take into account that the warehouse would be situated in an area zoned to be residential/agricultural in use.

"Assuming that the proposed warehouse with truck staging area described onsite is similar to what the plans depict, this is a substantial commercial facility to be situated in a residential/agricultural neighborhood," wrote Ashjian. "There are significant safety, noise, and odor issues as well as potential wetlands impacts."

The zoning issue also concerned Joseph Crowe, a resident in the surrounding neighborhood, who wondered why the warehouse couldn't be built up the road, in land that is zoned commercially. He voiced many of the same concerns that other residents did about the truck traffic and increase of noise in the neighborhood.

"It's just so disruptive to the neighborhood," said Crowe. "I do give a lot of credit to the Planning Board for trying to accommodate everyone's concerns."

The Planning Board is scheduled to revisit the matter at their meeting on May 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Moultonboro Town Hall.

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