SWANZEY — The town’s zoning board of adjustment Monday approved a multi-family housing development being proposed for Old Homestead Highway (Route 32) near Dillant-Hopkins Airport. Meanwhile, a public hearing on a significantly larger project that’s also being pitched for that general area has been continued until next month.
Between them, the projects — which are being proposed by different developers — would number more than 120 residential units, according to an information packet for Monday’s meeting.
With public hearings for both on the agenda, about 65 people attended the session at Whitcomb Hall.
The smaller of the two projects, proposed by the Rindge-based 4395 FT, LLC, calls for 32 units on a 2-acre vacant lot on the west side of Old Homestead Highway.
The development would consist of four two-story, eight-unit buildings, and needed a special exception to be built in the business district.
Zoning board members granted that exception, 3-1, Monday night.
Chad Branon, civil engineer for the project, told meeting attendees the units would range from 900 to 1,100 square feet, and would all be two-bedroom townhouses.
The development would also have 64 parking spaces, in line with the town’s requirements, Branon added.
Attendees asked several questions following his presentation, mostly focused on the units’ specifications.
The project will next head to the Swanzey Planning Board for consideration.
No action on Avanru plan
A much larger housing development was also due to be discussed at Monday’s meeting, but one of the zoning board members, Bill Hutwelker, recused himself, citing a conflict of interest.
Hutwelker, who is also a selectman and works as a Realtor, said he is involved in the real estate transaction.
With only three board members remaining to vote, the Walpole-based Avanru Development Group opted to continue the public hearing to the board’s next scheduled meeting on March 16 at 7 p.m. in Whitcomb Hall.
Providing affordable rental units to people 62 and older, the 90-unit development would be at 115 Old Homestead Highway, next to Dillant-Hopkins Airport and north of Aviation Drive, with 69 one-bedroom apartments, five studios and 16-two bedroom units.
Three inter-connected buildings are being proposed, with an approximate total footprint of 21,000 square feet, Avanru President and CEO Jack Franks told The Sentinel last week. One building would be three stories, he said, while the other two would be four.
Like 4395 FT, Avanru is requesting a special exception to build multi-family housing in the business district.
The company is also seeking two variances, one of which is needed because the proposal calls for 126 parking spots, but the town’s zoning ordinance requires 180. The other would allow the development to be built with a setback of 30 feet from the front property line instead of the ordinance’s required 75.