LONDONDERRY — A well-known tire company is hoping to turn an existing Route 102 gas station into a new retail location.
During a conceptual discussion that took place at the July 9 Londonderry Planning Board meeting, town officials indicated a Town Fair Tire store might be a good fit for the site currently being used as a Gulf gas station, located at 31 Nashua Road.
Attorney Morgan Hollis, who spoke on behalf of the Connecticut-based tire retailer, said the site in question is “a fairly small lot.”
“We’re proposing to redevelop this site,” Hollis said, noting that if the plan goes forward, the site’s fuel tanks and service station would be dismantled.
“This would make use of more of the site than currently,” he added. “Because of the nature of the site, this would be a nonconforming use.”
Hollis said one challenge posed by the site is its steep-sloping topography.
“Most significantly, we’re proposing to install a fairly high retaining wall to the rear,” he said. “This allows us to use a good portion of the site while taking advantage of green space.”
Project engineer Mike Lahan said the site currently has a state highway drainage easement. “In our design, we’ve taken care to stay away from the portion of the lot that contains a wetland,” he said.
The store would be accessible by both Hampton and Palmer drives, using the same access points as the current gas station does.
The 7,000-square foot building would have a small area for tire installation, a sales floor and storage space. Parking would be set up around the building’s perimeter.
“This is a highly constrained site and in my opinion, the current use as a gas and service station generated a lot more traffic than this would,” Town Planner Cynthia May said. “I’m guessing the traffic volumes are going to go down. I think removing the gasoline pumps will also keep that traffic volume out of this location, which is a definite plus.
Project officials said the plan now is to work with the zoning board and heritage commission to polish the plan and address any concerns that may arise, before bringing a final proposal back to the planning board in the coming months.