Proposed condos on South Mammoth Road

A rendering of the condos a developer proposed to build on South Mammoth Road. The project called for four, five-story buildings for a total of 128 condos.

MANCHESTER — The Zoning Board of Adjustment last week rejected variances needed to construct 128 proposed condominiums on South Mammoth Road.

The project at 415 S. Mammoth Road called for four buildings with 32 units each, according to the application.

Variances are needed for the multi-family complex to be built and for the proposed height of five stories or 56 feet. The zoning district only allows structures to be 35 feet tall.

The property is tough to develop because of wetlands and easements, which provides hardship for the variances, said attorney John Bisson during a hearing last Thursday night

The condos were expected to sell for an average of $274,000 and fit in with the city’s affordable housing plans, Bisson said.

ZBA alternate Guy Guerra said he drives on South Mammoth every day. He worried about traffic.

“This is a tough project for me to swallow,” he said. “I think the density there that you’re trying to present on that small piece of what’s available to be used on that piece of property is trying to cram way too much on there.”

Other members said the project doesn’t fit the character of the neighborhood.

Owner of the property David Giovagnoli agreed he might have asked for too much, especially with five-story buildings.

The goal is to help address the state’s affordable housing needs, he said.

He said five single-family homes built on the land will not help the cause.

He plans to work with the city on another plan.

Alderman Jim Roy said he felt approving the project would be in essence “spot zoning.”

The board voted 5-0 to deny the request.

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