Manchester is New Hampshire’s largest city in terms of population but it is relatively small in its physical space, which is one reason why we support Mayor Joyce Craig’s current position on Hackett Hill.
Our story earlier this week outlined the status of the property, an 88-acre tract off of busy Front Street on the city’s west side.
A developer acquired the industrially-zoned site when the University of New Hampshire decided to place its city campus in the millyard instead of atop the hill. That was a good choice for an urban campus; but developer Richard Danais’ request to rezone the empty space for residential is not the best for the city.
Manchester is doing more than its fair share of providing housing development opportunities. Indeed, part of the Hackett Hill property has already been rezoned for 152 townhouses. Too much housing and not enough business and industry is a losing combination.
The property is set for foreclosure and the city expects to assume possession. Mayor Craig says a master plan process for the city is taking place and the Hackett Hill property should stick with its current zoning, at least until that has been completed.
That’s the right decision.