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Lebanon planning board approves final phase of major commercial project

LEBANON — The Planning Board unanimously approved the second and final subdivision of a major commercial project on Route 120 Tuesday night.

Altaria, a 65-acre development adjacent to the Centerra business park and across Route 120 from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, will include a hotel, retail and residential space and industrial offices.

The first phase that includes the hotel is already under construction.

This second phase incorporates just over 50 acres of the land, said city planning/zoning director Andrew Gast-Bray.

What was approved Tuesday was the final major subdivision conditional use permit for the planned business park, Gast-Bray said.
"This basically allows them to do the details for the land use, to create the different lots," he said. "They don't actually have the buildings designed for those lots."

An exciting aspect of the project is the connectivity that is planned, which is part of the city's plan to cut down on vehicle traffic, Gast-Bray said.
As part of the traffic mitigation required for the increased traffic the development would generate on Route 120, the city planners were able to ask for bike and pedestrians paths, Gast-Bray said.

These paths will be created to meet with the sidewalks of adjacent office parks, which were based on the late-20th century design, "where everything is a cul-de-sac and everyone drove everywhere," Gast-Bray said.
Altaria is being designed so that people will not have to get in their car to go from building to building, he said.

"Trying to get that connectivity back is kind of exciting," he said.

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