HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead Planning Board was set to hear the court-ordered request of Scott Lancaster for a subdivision of his four-plus acres with over 1.000 feet of frontage on Lighthouse Lane, a one lane dirt road, on Monday night, when abutter Bill Keating stood up and told the board he had not been properly notified of the hearing.
Keating’s name was left off the list to be notified; he learned of the hearing from another abutter the previous day.
Keating told the board he has concerns about the plan and as soon as he learned of the hearing, contacted an attorney, but has not had sufficient time to meet with that attorney. He requested a delay to the April 1 Planning Board meeting.
Town Counsel Diane Gorrow was present, having met with the board regarding the Lancaster case prior to the meeting, and said the applicant could choose to go forward with the hearing, but at his own risk. Surveyor James Lavelle, representing Lancaster, said he still has questions to answer to the state Department of Environmental Services about the easement involved and therefore was willing to delay the hearing until the next meeting. The board voted unanimously to postpone the hearing to April 1.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) had denied Lancaster’s original request for a variance to do the subdivision, and Lancaster went to court. The court ruled that Lancaster’s variance should have been granted, calling the ZBA denial “unreasonable” and stating, “Obviously any construction of any building on the new lot to be created will have to be overseen and approved by the Hampstead Planning Board.”
Keating said after the meeting his concern is primarily related to access, because the only access is an easement across his property, and he sees increased traffic as a threat to his family’s safety and privacy. He added that there are 12 to 18 additional acres that can be developed once the door is opened.
In other business Monday:
• The owner of a gas and convenience store strip mall at 416 Emerson Ave. is seeking to subdivide that property by splitting off the gas and convenience store into one lot and the strip mall businesses into another. The issue is a matter of inadequate building setbacks, which would require a ruling from the ZBA. The board voted unanimously to send the case to the ZBA.
• Tropic Star Development, the proposed fuel and convenience store development at the intersection of Routes 121 and 111, requested and received another 90-day extension because it has not received review results of its plan from the state Department of Transportation.
• Randy Clark, longtime member and chair of the board, was given the first Town Report of the year, as it is dedicated to him. He announced earlier his decision not to run again.