Developer, abutter at odds over Winchester Dunkin’ Donuts project
WINCHESTER — The developer of a proposed convenience store, gas station and Dunkin’ Donuts is fighting a legal battle on multiple fronts.
Kulick’s Inc., which has a gas station and convenience store on an abutting property, argued in Cheshire County Superior Court Jan. 21 that the proposed site plan the town approved in July was too similar to a plan the town denied in 2012 to be heard by the Planning Board. The developer, S.S. Baker’s Realty Co., has intervened in the case against the town and defended the town’s Planning Board in court at the Jan. 21 hearing.
Attorney Kelly E. Dowd, who is representing Kulick’s, said Friday that the plan approved in July is not substantially different than the one proposed in 2012.
Changes included reducing the size of the building by 150 feet, removing one parking space and not allowing vehicles to make a left turn out of the property onto Route 10, which runs perpendicular Route 78.
“I think that is abuse of English to say that it is materially different by knocking off a parking space and chopping off 150 square feet,” Dowd said.
Additionally the traffic study and storm water management, part of the rejected 2012 plan, were resubmitted as part of the 2013 plan that was approved, he said.
S.S. Baker’s attorney, Gary J. Kinyon, said Friday that the site plan approved by the board had substantial changes, which allowed the board to hear and approve it.
The second plan took into account major issues the Planning Board had with the first plan, Kinyon said.
“One of the reasons for the previous denials by the Planning Board was the project overwhelmed the site. One of the reasons the building was made smaller was to address that situation,” Kinyon said.
Town planners were also concerned about left-turning traffic from the site onto Route 10, which the new plan prohibits, he said.
Superior Court Judge John C. Kissinger is expected to release his decision on the case in writing within 60 days of the hearing.
In the meantime, all parties are expected to appear in New Hampshire Supreme Court in Concord Feb. 19 for oral arguments for S.S. Baker’s appeal of the Planning Board’s denial of a 2012 version of the project.