By Adam Silva
PREP, owner of the new shopping center planned on the mall property, Hanover Crossing, is asking the zoning board to approve a variance that will allow a 53-foot tall, four-story building. Zoning laws limit the height of a building to 35 feet.
The public hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Hanover High School.
The variance would also allow the 297 units to be built as a single comprehensive development that would exceed the rate of housing development in town.
Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2020 if the variance is granted.
Callahan said including a residential component has always been part of the plan since PREP announced the property is changing from an indoor mall to an outdoor shopping area with the name Hanover Crossing.
“With respect to marketing the project to prospective tenants, it has become very clear that the residential is essential,” said Callahan. “We have many prospects who are not committing to the development until they hear the results of the residential with the zoning board of appeals ruling.”
PREP is planning to construct a new wastewater treatment plant this year that is currently designed to handle both retail and residential units on the property. PREP is close to filing for a permit with the Department of Environmental Protection. If the zoning variance is denied, Callahan said, the plan will have to be redesigned.
The zoning board has the authority to grant variances if the applicant can show substantial financial or other hardship related to soil conditions, shape or topography which especially affect the land or structure. The applicant must also show that granting the variance would not generally affect the zoning district where the property is located, would have no detrimental affect on the public good and would not substantially detract from the purpose of the zoning bylaw.
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