Intersection Change up to Voters
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 25, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- The Planning Board voted last week to conditionally approve the construction of a CVS Pharmacy and retail space on Lafayette Road.
Members approved the project with the stipulation that all concerns brought up in the department reviews, including drainage, are addressed by the Dec. 17 meeting.
"If it's not met then they will come before us again, if it is, then it's a done deal," said Planning Board member Tom Higgins, who made the motion.
Higgins made the motion citing the board is only approving the CVS section of the project.
The vote did not include plans for the reconfiguration of the intersection of Route 1 and Winnacunnet Road or the additional parking and patio for the Galley Hatch Restaurant.
Those proposals will be considered separately at a later date.
Joe Coronati, of Jones and Beach Engineers, came before the board with three separate plans regarding the CVS project.
The first plan included the relocated entrance for the Galley Hatch Restaurant and CVS, while the second proposal added the reconfiguration of Route 1 and Winnacunnet Road.
A third plan was just the CVS project using the existing entrances for the property.
While board members said they preferred the second plan, the only one they had the legal authority to approve right now is the third one.
Realigning the intersection of Winnacunnet Road and Route 1 into a T-shape, they said, will be considered if and when voters approve that proposal at Town Meeting in March.
John Tinios, owner of the Galley Hatch and Cinema Six, offered to include the recongfiguration of the road as an off-site improvement.
Board members said they favored that proposal because its fixes one of the most dangerous intersections in town.
In exchange for paying to reconstruct the road to eliminate the spur, Tinios wanted to use some of that town-owned land to pick up six additional parking spaces for his restaurant.
But because it involves town land it has to go before voters.
While the first option doesn't need Town Meeting approval, board members said it may need selectmen approval because the proposed new entrance involves town-owned land.
As a result, they decided to continue hearing about those two proposals until the board's March 18 meeting, after the election.
Higgins said he made the motion to at least get the CVS project off the ground.
While board member Keith Lessard wanted to continue the project until Dec. 3 to ensure all the department concerns are addressed, Tinios asked for conditional approval.
"We want to begin to get this thing going because there is still some planing involved here," Tinios said. "And every one of these meetings cost us money.
"In this economy we want a good project like this in town for a lot of reasons. Construction jobs for one, and jobs going forward."
The new CVS and retail space will be constructed where the current Hampton Cinema Six is located at 321 Lafyatte Road. Cinema Six will stay open into 2009.