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December 12. 2012 11:09PM

43 homes proposed in east Manchester

MANCHESTER - A local developer has proposed the construction of 43 homes in east Manchester, saying the home real-estate market is improving and demand has pent up for homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 range.

Bob LaMontagne, president of LaMontagne Builders, has proposed the Brookfield Subdivision on 32 acres sandwiched between Cohas Avenue and Interstate 93. The development is to the immediate south of Fallon's Furniture at the intersection of Cohas Avenue and Brickett Road.

He said his company has owned the land for 20 years.

"I'd say the market is improving," LaMontagne said. "There's been so few homes built over the last several years. There's a lot of pent off demand, I believe."

LaMontagne said he hopes to receive state and city permits for the Brookfield Subdivision sometime this winter. He said construction on the roadways could start in the spring and house construction in the summer.

But his plan has met resistance from some nearby residents, and the planning board continued the project last week, a step that allows the board to receive more input on the project. It also delays an eventual decision.

Marc Tancrede, who lives on Cohas Avenue, said he's worried about the effect of pavement and other non-porous surface in a neighborhood that borders three brooks and has a high water table already. His basement has been flooded three times in the last six years, and a power outage is especially challenging because his sump pumps can't operate.

"We're not asking for a lot, just keep us above water," Tancrede said. He also said the homes would have an impact on the schools and the development straddles Interstate 93, meaning the state will eventually have to build sound walls.

"I just wonder how much the planning board is doing its job, planning," he said.

A message left Wednesday evening with Planning Board Chairman Michael Landry was not returned.

LaMontagne said he has applied for permits at the state that deal with wetland, shoreland and terrain alteration. City zoning requires the home lots to be a minimum of 12,500 square feet, a little more than a quarter acre in size.

LaMontagne said the homes will be two-story Colonials with attached garages and about three to four bedrooms. They will be about 2,000 to 3,000 square feet in size.

He said he is building small subdivisions in Derry and Hampstead and recently jump started the Mill Pond subdivision in Londonderry, where he plans to build 100 homes. A model is going up now, he said. Some will be built for customers, others on speculation.

LaMontagne said he employs 30 people, and they would be used to build the Manchester and Londonderry homes.

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Mark Hayward may be reached at mhayward@unionleader.com.



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