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Manchester Planning Board to vote again on proposed East Side gas station

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 04. 2018 9:02PM

MANCHESTER — A controversial plan to build a gas station and car wash on the East Side will be back before the city Planning Board in two weeks, after a vote on the proposal last week ended in a 3-3 tie.

The project — proposed for 55 Edward J. Roy Drive, north of Wellington Road near Exit 8 of Interstate 93 — includes a building to house a convenience store, doughnut shop, deli and fueling area. The site could be accessed across from the Carlton Place residential complex.

The project has generated a large amount of testimony, from opponents and attorneys representing the applicant, Z1 Express in Bedford.

Last week, a vote by members of the city’s Planning Board ended in a 3-3 tie. Voting in favor of the proposal were board chair Mike Harrington and board members Mike O’Donoghue and Guy Guerra. Opposed were Alderman At Large and Planning Board member Joseph Kelly Levasseur, former Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long and board member Dan LeClerc. Board member Melanie Sanuth abstained, while several other board members were absent due to prior plans — the meeting occurred during February school vacation week.

After the 3-3 vote, a vote was taken to lay the item on the table for another two weeks, in the hopes more board members may be present at the next meeting, scheduled for March 15.

Z1 Express must obtain a conditional use permit to proceed, which requires satisfying a list of conditions, including that the project not materially endanger public health and safety, and not substantially devalue abutting property.

Levasseur cut short a family vacation in Miami, Fla., a few days early to fly home last Thursday in time to cast a vote on the subject. After experiencing a flight delay at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, N.Y., he said his flight landed at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport at 6:35 p.m. — a half hour after last week’s meeting at City Hall started.

“It was one of the most stressful days of my life,” said Levasseur. “I was talking with the airline people and just kept telling them, ‘You have to get me to Manchester,’ and they just apologized. But I made it there and voted.”

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