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Some residents have said they are in favor of developing the site, while others cited concerns about increased traffic in the area. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

Goffstown housing project falls short of approval for number of units, building height

GOFFSTOWN — Plans for a proposed multi-unit housing development could change after two zoning variances failed to gain approval earlier this week.

The plan is to put up 99 units spread out among four buildings along the bank of the Piscataquog River at the 15 Factory St. site, which will be called the Residences at Hadley Falls.

The majority of the units will be put in the former mill building — 50 units — while the other three buildings will have 6, 18 and 25 units respectively.

The site currently has some warehouse space and sheds that will be removed to make room for the new buildings.

Developers would rehab the mill building for the project, retaining its historic nature and keeping the chimney stack behind it.

The Hadley Falls Dam will be repaired and brought back online as well.

Developers were looking for a variance on the zoning ordinance since only 64 units are allowed on that site. They were also looking for a variance for the buildings’ height, since what they are proposing is about 20 feet higher than what’s allowed.

These variances failed to win approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Tuesday in a 2-1 vote. Variances need to garner three votes to be approved or denied.

Zoning Board member Emily Sandblade voted against two variances for consistency reasons.

“We’ve been sticky about that,” she said about following what the zoning ordinances allow.

Sandblade said she was also concerned about density at the site.

Deliberations likely will continue at a future board meeting.

This isn’t the first time someone has tried to redevelop the Factory Street property. About two years ago, plans were presented to use the property for both residential and commercial uses, but the plans fell through after the viability of that type of plan was called into question.

Developers opted for pursuing a purely residential project for those reasons.

“This is a much less intensive use than what would be permitted on the site,” said Doug MacGuire, an engineer and vice president of the Dubay Group that is helping with the design of the project. “The increased density we’re asking for is not going to adversely affect the community from a traffic or safety standpoint.”

Developers are looking to take advantage of the state’s 79-E tax incentive, meaning that although the owners will be taxed on the current assessed value of the building they won’t be charged extra if the value increases for five years after the upgrades are made.

The Board of Selectmen will vote on whether to approve the tax incentive application at its Monday meeting.

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