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Salem Planning Board refuses to allow permit for Tuscan Village apartments sign

Union Leader Correspondent

August 15. 2018 10:10PM

SALEM — The Planning Board denied a conditional use permit requested by The Dolben Company, owners of Corsa, the formal name of the 256-unit Tuscan Village apartments.

The permit request was for a temporary 178-square-foot sign on the north face of the building that will eventually be 600 or 800 Central St. The sign would read “Now Leasing,” The sign ordinance requires for-lease signs to be no more than 20 square feet, according to Planning Director Ross Moldoff.

David Jordan, an engineer with MHF Design, presented the plan on behalf of Dolben. He said it was part of an effort to attract tenants who might otherwise have difficulty finding the place, which is located in the new Tuscan Village development area.

“This request is part of their overall marketing strategy,” Jordan said.

Dolben also offered to remove the sign when they reach 95 percent occupancy or in 12 months, whichever comes first.

But members of the board expressed skepticism that the sign would come down at the promised time since there was no mechanism to penalize Dolben if it doesn’t follow through on its promise.

Planning Board members were also concerned that granting the permit would set a bad precedent for other property owners looking to advertise.

Board Chairman Keith Belair was among the most vocally opposed to the plan.

“I just think it’s horrible — too big and wrong,” Belair said.

A majority of the board agreed. Only Beverly Donovan and Paul Pelletier voted in favor of the proposal.

Meanwhile, the board approved conditional use permits for wall signs for the new Bob’s Furniture location at 92 Cluff Crossing Road. The company is relocating to that location.

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