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Developer pulls variance request for gas station, car wash in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 08. 2017 12:47AM
This item from the Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda last month shows a proposal for a gas station, convenience store and car wash on Edward J. Roy Drive. The developer has pulled a variance request from next week's Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda. 

MANCHESTER — The developer proposing to build a gas station and car wash opposed by many residents has pulled a variance request from next week’s Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda.

“They need more time and I was unable to postpone it until February,” said Michael Landry, the city’s deputy director of building regulations.

“They need to determine whether ZBA action will be required based on a revised plan” yet to be submitted, Landry said Thursday.

The project — at 55 Edward J. Roy Drive, north of Wellington Road near Exit 8 of Interstate 93 — is seeking a variance in several areas, including retaining walls and sign heights, as well as asking for a special exception regarding establishments with drive-through service.

Project opponent Christina Adams hopes the plan dies after it sparked residents to circulate flyers and collect petition signatures.

“I’m hoping that it’s all this opposition and pressure that they’re getting,” she said.

“There are far better places within the city in which to build an establishment like this,” Adams said. “To me, at this point in time, you’re taking away what little sanctuary we have from living in the city but have a suburban feel.”

The applicant, listed in city records as Z-1 Express in Bedford, is represented by the law firm Bernstein Shur. Messages left at the law firm in recent weeks haven’t been returned.

The project was scheduled for the ZBA in mid-November and then postponed until Dec. 14.

Meanwhile, Hannaford confirmed it has owned the property since the early 1990s and once considered it for a Hannaford supermarket.

“Many years ago, we decided that the site was not right for us to build a store and put the property up for sale,” said Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom.

“The land has been listed for years without attracting interest until a few months ago, when we reached a purchase-and-sale agreement for the property,” he said. “How the site is used after the sale will be up to the purchaser in accordance with local zoning. Hannaford is not part of any future development of the property.”

He said he couldn’t give out details of the sales agreement.

Local and County Government Manchester

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