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Public Hearing


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									                                 Public Hearing
                              Sale of Town Barn Property
                                Town Hall Auditorium
                                   February 5, 2004

Lawrence C. Ross
Edward J. Juengst
Elizabeth M. Thomas

Dana I. Hadley

Chairman Ross announced that Selectman Ed Juengst would be conducting the Public
The Public Hearing began at 7:00p.m. Selectman Juengst thanked everyone for coming
and explained the procedures by which he would lead the Hearing. He stated that the
Board of Selectmen appreciates input from the public and takes suggestions and
comments seriously. He reminded the audience that this process isn’t finished, but is a
step to answer any questions that the public may have in order for them to make a
decision on this proposal at the Town Meeting.
He said that the Board is aware that there are a number of questions that people want to
have answered and he would try to accept questions from citizens who had not had a
chance to speak at the first Public Hearing.
 By way of background, he explained that the Town has signed a Purchase and Sales
agreement with the Richmond Company contingent upon approval at Town Meeting in
March. He reminded voters that if this sale is approved at town meeting, there is still a
process that will need to be followed. He said the Board of Selectmen intends to exercise
the controls which were included in the sales agreement.
He said the Board of Selectmen is committed to involving as many people and groups in
the project as they can and he affirmed that the developers are also committed to keeping
the public informed and involved as well.
At this time, Selectman Juengst introduced Mr. Jeff Crocker, Attorney for the
Mr. Crocker introduced Phil Pastan, President of the Richmond Company, Linda
Castanzo, Stop & Shop spokeswoman, Ray Remillard, Senior Project Manager, as
well as Mark Bodi, Gordon Leete, and Andrew Highland who are working with the
project developers.
Attorney Crocker described the location of the parcel and its current condition. He
added that there was a need to purchase more acreage for the mitigation and improvement
of the inherent wetlands. He said that this additional land would then be deeded back to
the town in the form of a conservation easement. He noted that the purchase price was
set at $310,000.00 and that the Purchase and Sales agreement calls for an increase in
price of $5,000.00 each month until the sale is finalized, but would have a cap of
He reminded the audience that the question before them is whether or not the Town
should vote to allow the Selectmen to sell the land. He said if the voters do not approve

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the sale, then the Board of Selectmen would not be able to convey the property to the
Richmond Company.
He stated the purpose of the hearing is to inform the public of the intended use of the
property if the sale were to be approved.
Mr. Crocker presented maps depicting the area that the Richmond Company would
like to acquire for their project. He informed the public that the Warrant Article states
that the Board of Selectmen does not have to sell the land if they are not satisfied with the
final plans. He described this as an example of the control the Town retains.
Phil Pastan thanked the Board for inviting his group to once again have the opportunity
to address the community. He stated that their role is to accomplish a project that meets
the needs of the community. He then gave out a toll-free telephone number his company
established which is available to anyone who might have concerns or questions. The
number is as follows: 1-888-625-4714
Gordon Leete, Landscape Architect for the project described the DPW site as being in
an environmentally degraded state and said that they are proposing to resolve many of
these issues. He then recognized this site as a “gateway” to the Town and said their plans
include the beautification of the site as well as other positive changes.
He then reviewed the plans to date and offered schematics for public viewing which are
also available at the Town House.
He went on to say that his group has had several meetings with DPW Director Ed Betz in
order to insure any future plans would meet the needs of his department. Included is a
plan to eliminate the truck burden on Evans Road by adding a new access route for the
snow storage area.
It was reported that the proposed improvements and wetlands mitigation were estimated
to cost $300,000.00 and that these costs would be borne by the developers in total.
Linda Costanza stated that their current store in Peterborough does not reflect the true
nature of the company. She said that Stop & Shop is a New England company and the
largest grocery retailer in New England and that they had accomplished this by listening
to the suggestions of their patrons. As a result, they have updated their stores to create
more environmentally sound buildings. Some of the changes include the addition of sky
lights reducing the need for electricity as well as using more efficient roofing material to
reduce the need for heating and cooling. She said that they utilize a system that reclaims
a proportion of heat loss and uses it to heat the water supply within the building.
She then gave a visual presentation depicting the comparative size of the proposed
Peterborough store to that of other “big box” stores in New England. In her description,
she included the various uses within the proposed 65,000 square foot building.
She finished by saying that they are excited to be a part of the Peterborough community,
and that they are looking forward to bringing the local money spent on food back to
Andrew Highland then introduced himself and described the process by which his
architectural firm creates a conceptual design. He said they enter the community and
document as much of the local character as they can and then use it as inspiration to
create a plan that looks like as if it belongs in the town. He then showed some examples
of how they had worked with different communities to create viable projects.

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At this time, Mr. Crocker spoke about the relationship between the proposal and the
Peterborough Master Plan. He reported that only 3% of the land in Peterborough is
zoned for commercial use and that this small amount provides 27% of tax revenue.
He said that one of the benefits of this site is that it uses an under productive
commercially zoned property to generate additional tax revenue without taking any new
land. He said this helps maintain the level of commercial tax revenue on which
Peterborough relies.
Secondly, he said this proposal allows Peterborough to control the look and feel of a
commercial project as well as improve the environmentally unsound conditions of the
site. Additionally, the town will receive conservation easements that would be managed
by the Peterborough Conservation Commission. He reiterated that fact that the Board of
Selectmen would retain the right to approve the design of the project.
Finally, in regard to traffic, Mr. Crocker said that due to State safety requirements, the
resultant addition of signals and turning lanes would vastly improve the area's traffic
situation, which would be in keeping with the Master Plan.
Phil Pastan summarized the proposal by stating its major benefits to the community as
discussed. Additionally, he reported that the tax revenue would increase from the current
amount of $19,999.00 per year to a projected $214,000.00 and that they were also in
negotiations for funding new and better recreation fields for the community.
He then thanked the community for allowing them to make their presentation.

At this time, Selectman Juengst opened the discussion to the audience.
Tom Strickland, a resident, stated that he had come prepared to be opposed to the
project but that after the impressive presentation, he was more open to the idea. He said
that “seeing-is-believing” and asked where there might be a similar site that he could
Linda Costanza responded that there are sites in Lexington and Amesbury, MA and
Wilton, CT, which are similar in size and community structure. She noted that the
Bedford, NH store is larger than the store proposed for Peterborough.
Mert Dyer said that he was concerned with the non-public meetings that have been held
between the developers and the Board of Selectmen and he wanted to know who set the
purchase price, the buyer or the Selectmen. He sited RSA 91:3A as a concern.
Selectmen Juengst said the price was set by negotiation after receiving two appraisals.
Mr. Dyer asked if there were any additional expenses to the town in order for the
Department of Public Works to continue their operations efficiently. Also the Town’s
access to the site is over a right-of-way previously established.
Attorney Crocker said the Richmond Company would have to attain their own access
from the State. He added that in no way does this plan change the operations of the
D.P.W. including the size of their area or its access.
Selectmen Juengst told Mr. Dyer that the Board had received his list of concerns and
questions and that they would contact him with specific answers.
Sue Chollet, , said she felt the timing of these negotiations were inappropriate during the
Master Plan process. Secondly, she thinks the A&P plaza is a blighted property as well,
and that the Town should concentrate on improving that area. Additionally, she said
there seems to be inconsistencies with the Master Plan in terms of any new development
being of mixed use. She questioned how this proposal would support economic vitality

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especially in the downtown area. She asked if the store could do with out the addition of
a florist and pharmacy department.
Ms. Costanza answered that their competitors are not the downtown businesses. She
said her company wants the downtown businesses to thrive. She said she couldn’t say
that they would decrease the store size or eliminate any departments.
Mr. Juengst stated that the Board of Selectmen fully supports the Village Commercial
District. He said the Board has no direct influence on the owners of the Peterborough
Plaza. He reminded the audience that at the last Public Hearing, the Richmond
Company explained their attempts at developing in that area and the reasons they sought
a different location.
Ms. Chollet asked how many jobs would be created in addition to the number of workers
the existing store currently employs and what their health benefits would be.
Ms. Costanza replied there would be150 positions over and above the current number,
and that Stop & Shop is a union store and provides insurance accordingly.
Gary Armstrong said he spends forty to fifty hours on economic vitality each week and
is a member of the Economic Development Authority. He stated that he supports this
project and that he was most impressed with the controls the town retains. He went on to
say that he thinks competition is good because it leads to better pricing, service and
selection. He added that if this project were approved, it would help create the positive
reputation that Peterborough is interested in economic growth.
Jack Burnett said he thinks this is a great project and that it fully conforms to the Master
Plan. He said he didn’t see this as a flash flood of competition that is going to drive all
the local businesses out. He said that the local restaurants don’t sell food, they sell
dining; that the Camera Shop doesn’t just sell cameras, they sells photography; and that
the local card stores don’t sell cards, they sell gift giving. He sees it as an economic high
tide that will float the economic boats of a lot of businesses.
Peter Gosline, CEO of Monadnock Community Hospital and a resident, said he was
speaking as an individual and that he was also concerned with the viability of the smaller
stores in Peterborough, but feels this will be a positive change. He said there have been
other proposals but that the Town has maximum leverage right now and the ability to
make sure the project adheres to our desires.
Helen Sullivan, a resident on Mountain View Drive said she has serious concerns with
traffic and possible gridlock on Route 101. She also wanted to know what protection the
Town has if the sale doesn’t go through.
Selectmen Juengst said that the project is still subject to Selectmen’s approval.
Jay Purcell said he commended the group for its excellent presentation. He said as an
architect as well, he understood what went in to this project to date. He then said that he
thought the issue wasn’t really the grocery store itself but what the right location for it is.
He said he was surprised that so many people feel that the proposal is consistent with the
Master Plan. He asked if it is a smart plan to create a new commercial site that could
grow, perhaps leading to a change in the town’s character and the possible influx of
highway strip development.
Tim Kolk said he was not inclined to be against or in favor of the project, but was more
concerned that the vote in March is to sell or not to sell. He asked if there was a way to
introduce a contingency vote on the final plan.

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Ed Juengst reiterated that there are other opportunities through out the process for the
community to have input. In regard to having a final vote, the plan presented is just
conceptual and that once a plan is submitted, it has to follow legal processes which put it
in the hands of the Planning Board.
Jeff Crocker said that by this presentation it was obvious that the developers have
already spent a lot of money. He said that no developer would go through this process if
they didn’t think there was a willing seller at the other end. He then asked the audience
to have faith in the regulatory processes of the Planning Board and Selectmen.
Sue Shute then stood and read a letter of support written by Isis Latham, owner of
Abracadabra, a toy store in town. In her opinion, the Town needs to take this step but
with serious precautions. She felt that these precautions were met in this proposal.
Carol Doreski, another resident, expressed concern with the reputation of the Richmond
Rick Monahon sited the condition of the two existing plazas as quite in contrast to the
downtown. His concern is that a large development will become just additional space to
be filled when the store fails. The current situation of vacant stores will only be
exacerbated by this development. He was also concerned that any new traffic lights at
the entrance would then cause a second light to be installed at Elm Street. He said he
would prefer that the skill brought before the town would be used to find a way to bring
this proposal to an existing site south of Route 101.
Heather Peterson, a resident said she didn’t think the Master Plan called for all new
development to be of mixed use. She said that since zoning was enacted in 1971, there
have been no new commercial zones created. She also clarified that the 3% of
commercially zoned property that creates the 27% of the tax revenue of which Attorney
Crocker spoke, actually encompasses all non-residential zoned property as well.
Joe Broyles said he was very in favor of Public Hearing process and thanked those
present for coming and participating.
Thelma Clark voiced her husbands concerns that there would be enough land left for the
D.P.W. should its needs increase.
Public Works Director Ed Betz responded by saying that there would be no net loss in
space for their operations with the addition of the proposed project, and that because
Peterborough would not likely build any new roads, their needs would not increase
beyond the capacity of the current site. He added that there would be enough room to
replicate the shed that would be torn down.

At this time, Acting Chairman, Ed Juengst thanked the audience and closed the Public
Hearing. The time was 9:30 p.m.

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Respectfully Submitted,

Judy L. Blake
Minutes accepted by the Board of Selectmen on February 24, 2004.

                                                   Lawrence C. Ross

                                                   Edward J. Juengst

                                                   Elizabeth M. Ross

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