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Business' signs promoting Candia warrant article disappear

As the New Hampshire Attorney General's office is set to wrap up its investigation of political signs being removed in Candia, police reported yet another set of political signs disappearing, this time in favor of a zoning petition warrant article.

The three signs were in support of Article 2, which would rezone two lots from residential to commercial, sponsored by employees of Raymond Sand and Gravel. All three were on Langford Road, two near the intersection with Route 27, another on the intersection with Rory Street. They disappeared Monday.

Kevin Cole of RS&G notified Candia police officer Kevin Cashman of the disappearances.

"I don't know who took the signs, but I know they disappeared," Cole said.

The signs lacked the necessary disclosures of their sponsor, a key issue in the incident being investigated by the AG's office, where Selectman Fred Kelley was found to be removing signs critical of a colleague on the grounds that they lacked such disclosures. The AG has determined that the signs in that case required the disclosures, but have yet to rule on whether Kelley could remove them.

Cole said he was not aware of the requirement when he posted his signs.

The article supported in the signs would "allow for rock quarrying, excavation and other commercial uses permitted in the commercial district, which may provide the Town with more tax revenue." Raymond Sand and Gravel's property crosses the town line from Raymond into Candia. Most of the land on Route 27 in zoned commercial, except for a handful of residential lots, which include Raymond Sand & Gravel's property.

A court ordered RS&G to shut down its Candia operations in 2003 due to the zoning issue.

"We're just trying to create jobs for the area, and (the town government of) Candia just seems to stop us every time we try to do something," said Cole. "We're not in a residential area; we're a business on Route 101, and that's where business should be as far as I'm concerned. The only thing that's stopping us is an imaginary line which is the town line. If all the property was in Raymond, we'd still be crushing."

Cole has argued that rezoning the lot would be a boon to the local economy, allowing shipment of resources locally, saving transportation costs.

The planning and zoning boards have expressed reservations for RS&G's hopes to continue quarry work on the land.

RS&G appeared before the Candia Zoning Board of Adjustment in October to request a variance to blast on the properties, but the scheduled public hearing was never opened. After a tense exchange, a motion passed to defer any consideration of the application until RS&G could prove it was in compliance with several court orders.

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