Salem planning board conditionally OKs gas station, storeBy Melissa Proulx
Union Leader Correspondent
February 21. 2018 10:39PM
SALEM — A new gas station and convenience store was given conditional approval recently by the town’s Planning Board.
The 4,600-square-foot building will replace the Hertz car rental agency at 495 S. Broadway.
The new Shell station will also have a Seasons Corner Market convenience store, and a drive-thru coffee shop is part of the plan, but no tenant has been chosen as of yet.
The Planning Board has been discussing the proposal since late last year. One of the main concerns brought up was traffic.
“I think the board was concerned about the potential for cut-through traffic,” said Planning Director Ross Moldoff.
The parcel is located on a triangular plot between South Broadway and Lawrence Road. About $185,000 worth of improvements will be made on Lawrence Road by developers of the project.
Elio Cuttone, artistic director for Diva Professional Total Beauty salon, said he’s not opposed to the business itself.
“The site plan is beautiful, it’s a great business,” he said. “But I have a feeling it’s going to be a very, very complicated traffic situation.”
Resident Peter Laudani said traffic often backs up past his house on Lawrence Road at the intersection.
“It’s like you have a 10-pound container and you’re trying to put 20 pounds into it,” he said. “It can’t handle it.”
Laudani said that it gets worse during holidays.
“As soon as November comes, I don’t want to leave the house,” he said. “It’s terrible.”
Jake Aleksa, who owns the property as well as Aleksa Auto Sales across the street, said he thinks the project won’t have any significant impacts on traffic.
“I’ve waited 15 years for a project that makes sense…,” he said. “This is it.”
Aleksa said that he doesn’t think people will go out of their way to go to the gas station or convenience store, but will just take advantage of it while driving by.
“It doesn’t add new traffic to the surrounding street,” he said. “It’s taking care of the existing traffic that’s on the road.”