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Planning Board gives conditional approval to 3 Presby projects

September 23, 2009
WHITEFIELD — The Whitefield Planning Board granted conditional approval to plans for a pellet production plant, restaurant/museum, and aircraft hanger, all to be located in the town's industrial park.

Dave Presby was on hand at the Sept. 15 Planning Board meeting for final hearings at which he sought approval for two good-sized buildings on properties he owns on Airport Road, near the Mount Washington Regional Airport.

According to plans on file with the town, the proposed restaurant would be located on the corner lot adjacent to both the entrance to the airport and the entrance to Presby Environmental. The pellet production plant will be located further down Airport Road, also opposite Presby Plastics on land between the Timber Resource Group lumberyard and DG Whitefield's wood burning power plant.

Sam Chase, speaking on behalf of the Whitefield Economic Development Corp., said that the board believes that both Mr. Presby's proposals would be good for the town.

No public comment was received in the mail, according to Planning Board secretary Stephanie Glidden. Bruce Hutchings, the volunteer manager of the Mt. Washington Regional Airport Commission, had telephoned earlier in the day to say that the Airport Commission has no problems with these proposals. The board voted unanimously to approve the wood pellet manufacturing plant project, contingent on approval of his sprinkler system. The production plant will be served by town water.

Mr. Presby submitted copies of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) height variance for the proposed 45-foot-tall stacks, according to the draft meeting minutes.

Projected pellet production would be at about the rate of six tons an hour in what could be a 24-hour operation.

Mr. Presby was also on hand to represent DWP Realty, Inc., under which he proposes to build a restaurant-cum-museum. He brought forward an FAA permit for a height variance, which still requires a survey. He proposes a maximum height of 50' feet for his building, which includes two levels. Mr. Presby told Planning Board members that he plans to display antique cars, tractors, and planes in the building and hopes to attract these genres for shows each weekend.

He proposes that his restaurant-cum-museum be served by the town water system and that it also have a sprinkler system.

Board member Frank Mai asked if Mr. Presby believed that his enterprise would pull business away from the common and the downtown area. He replied that he does intend to make the airport a destination. Mr. Presby explained he hopes that when the new bridge is completed and the road paved that he will be able to attract business to the Industrial Park and to show people how beautiful the area out there is. The board approved the project, contingent on Fire Department approval for a sprinkler system, an approved driveway permit, and final FAA approval.

Mr. Presby also proposed to construct a new airport hangar on the former site of the old Civil Air Patrol building. Mr. Hutchings had informed Ms. Glidden earlier in the day that the Airport Commission had approved this proposed hangar. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the approving the hangar, subject to Mr. Presby securing a lease agreement from the Airport Commission.

Planning Board members on hand for the meeting included chairman Ed Betz, Scott Burns selectman member Joe Elgosin, Everett Kennedy, Frank Lombardi and John Tholl Jr.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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