MANCHESTER, NH – A second go-round for a developer seeking variances to move a CVS into a residential neighborhood ended well for residents, who came out in force to oppose the plan.
After about 90 minutes of public comment and brief deliberation, the board voted unanimously Feb. 23 to deny the construction project by TM Crowley & Associates, which sought to build a CVS at the corner of Lake Avenue and Mammoth Road.
Board Chair Mike Harrington invited those in favor of the project to come forward, soliciting only two speakers. After that, more than a dozen abutters and other residents with objections and reservations about everything from increased crime to plummeting property values spoke against the proposal.
Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza spoke briefly to say that he’d heard from many residents in the past three weeks, and that he was asked to come to the meeting to represent their opposition. Sapienza said he thought the residents’ words were more powerful than anything he could add.
A similar proposal was brought forward in Sept. of 2016 but was withdrawn by the developer before the board voted. The revised proposal had several concessions including alterations to the building, lighting, barrier landscaping and fencing. The developer’s attorney also said that a traffic study indicated that the project would ease traffic congestion, rather than worsen it.
But the board was not swayed.
“There’s no way you can characterize this as anything but a residential neighborhood,” Harrington said. “There’s no retail business within three-tenths of a mile from there, so off the bat it violates the basic ordinance and spirit of the ordinance.”