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Amherst officials considering plan for 10 new homes

Union Leader Correspondent

December 04. 2017 11:45PM

AMHERST — The planning board is considering a proposal to construct 10 new homes on Brookwood Drive.

Members of the board walked the property last month after several neighbors expressed concerns about the proposed development.

The board will meet Wednesday to vote on whether to grant a conditional use permit for the project, which includes 10 single-family homes.

The property is owned by Virginia Barbera, John Day and William Day.

“These are individual family homes, but under the state subdivision regulations I believe that it will fall under condominium-style,” said Tom Carr of Meridian Land Services of Amherst.

Based on existing planning ordinances, about seven acres of land is necessary to construct 10 homes. Still, the proposal calls for 10 homes on a 4.17 acre plot, meaning a variance would need to be granted.

Aside from the proposed houses, the project includes an open space area, cul-de-sac, gazebo or community building for recreation and a walkable trail system, according to Carr.

“The community space would be restricted to the residents,” Carr told the board last month, adding two of the units would be restricted to two-bedroom homes.

Sally Wilkins, member of the board, said she had no problem with the proposal.

“I think it is quite nicely designed,” said Wilkins, praising the developer for situating the homes in the middle of the lot and preserving open space around the parcel.

Several neighbors expressed concerns about the proposal.

Mark Smith of 62 Boston Post Road said he worries about the existing wildlife in the area, specifically deer that frequently roam the land.

Another abutter on Brookwood Drive told the board she has concerns about the potential traffic impact in the area.

“It will increase our traffic by 150 percent on our road,” said Chris Shaven of 2 Brookwood Drive

In addition, Shaven said the new homes could put a strain on the existing groundwater.

Last year, Shaven said many private wells in the neighborhood failed.

Arnold Rosenblatt, chairman of the planning board, said planning officials must consider whether there will be any adverse impacts on abutters before approving the project. Wednesday’s meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at Amherst Town Hall.

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