Planning Board in favor of Exit 3 land sale in Candia | New Hampshire
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Planning Board in favor of Exit 3 land sale in Candia

Union Leader Correspondent

September 18. 2017 8:13PM

CANDIA — The town’s planning board was the first of two town boards to give its opinion on a proposed land sale off Exit 3.

After three non-public meetings to discuss sale terms, a tentative agreement between the town and Wildcat Land Development Services, LLC, of Londonderry has been reached for the 9.5 acres across from an Irving Station and restaurant.

That agreement was sent to the planning board for members to give their thoughts on it.

“They received it very positively, I thought,” said Board of Selectmen Chair Carleton Robie.

The Conservation Commission will also take a look at the agreement at its Tuesday meeting and send its feedback back to selectmen.

“They get to look at the agreement,” Robie said earlier this month. “And if they have any advisory comments, we’ll listen to them.”

Residents will also get to weigh in. There will be two public hearings at selectmen meetings on Sept. 25 and Oct. 9.

The tentative agreement was signed last month, but won’t be binding unless it’s approved by selectmen.

Once that happens, developers will begin exploring possible uses for the land.

“The developers do not have a use at this time,” Robie said. “Hopefully they (will get) something going,” Robie said.

What to do with the land is something officials have been working on for about a decade. In the past, too many conditions were imposed on the land, making it impossible to develop, said Deputy Town Clerk Boyd Chivers during the town deliberative session last February.

Residents at town meeting voted to allow selectmen to sell the land by a vote of 681-174.

The land is in a commercial/light industrial zone. According to the town ordinance, this designation allows for light manufacturing — small scale consumer goods such as food, beverages or home appliances — and small-scale service industries to set up shop in that area.

The purpose of the zone is to help diversify the town’s economic base, according to the zoning ordinance.

Wildcat Land Development Services also owns the land across the street and is in the process of excavating that property in order to expand the site.

Along with a bigger convenience store and the existing restaurant/sandwich shop, developers are looking to create additional and more easily accessible tractor-trailer parking.

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