32-Unit Condominium Complex on
Old Runnells Bridge Road
Request for Rehearing of Rental Conversion Denied Despite the Appearance of a Conflict of Interest
At the December 20, 2022 Planning Board meeting, The board voted not rehear the matter despite the overwhelming evidence of faulty process described in the letter below. Why did they vote this way?
The Planning Board voted to allow conversion of an Owner Occupied Workforce Housing unit to a Rental Workforce Housing unit at its meeting on November 15, 2022. There were several procedural issues with the decision including evaluation of the proposal against the wrong version of the Workforce Housing Administration Compliance and Monitoring Rules. In addition, there were problems with notice as well as an apparent conflict of interest. Lastly, due process was not observed, written testimony was with held from some Board members. This project's noncompliance was submitted in writing and addressed directly to Planning Board members in accordance with the Board's procedures. This critical information was with held from some of the Board members in direct opposition to language in the Board's procedures. These actions render the Board's vote in this matter defective and should result in disciplinary action and policy changes to avoid future legal concerns for the Town. The Board should vote to rehear the case to avoid the appearance of malfeasance caused by the improper actions of a few officials being attributed to individual Board members who were not informed properly on the details of this matter.
A full explanation of the appearance of conflict of interest is included below.
Appearance of Conflict of Interest at Planning Board Meeting
Below are important issues that need to be addressed relative to fair and transparent governance in Hollis. A Conflict of interest or certainly the appearance of one may be driving improper action by the Town. A project has been added to the 11-15-2022 Planning Board agenda without proper notification, public documents have been withheld improperly and professional advice to the Planning Board seems to be incorrect. It seems that the Town has not followed State law or its own processes related to the proposal to convert a unit of owner occupied housing to rental housing at a 32 unit development with means tested housing on Old Runnells Bridge Road. Several decisions of the town seem to be in violation of State Law. The proposal also clearly includes a violation of Hollis Zoning Ordinance that is well known to the developer and to the Hollis Town Planning Consultant.
HollisWatch has been exposing decisions favorable to developers over town residents for years regarding the High Density Development on Old Runnells Bridge Road and others. A quick review of material posted on our page will show the extent of the deference that the town has allowed regarding this development. As a result of this work, there is a long and detailed public record relating to this project. The record seems to show that the Town Planning Consultant and the developer’s engineer are contradicting their earlier assertions in an effort to pass the proposal without allowing public input.
Despite our efforts, it seems that town Zoning Ordinance is once again being ignored, this time with the addition of ignoring the basic tenants of due process and access to public records. HollisWatch cannot resolve this issue on our own. We need help. Actions by the Select Board and Planning Board are necessary to begin to restore respect for the law and the interests of town residents.
A report is posted below documenting the conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest and the transgressions in detail. If you care about fairness in local land use decisions, I ask that you review the report below.
Conflict of Interest or Apperance of Conflict of Interest
The Select Board should:
Require that the Town Planning Consultant not participate or advise town staff or land use boards regarding workforce (means tested) housing.
Require the Planning Board to properly notice abutters and residents and to adhere to state law regarding the submittal dates for new applications.
Provide abutters and town residents with due process including the right to offer verbal and written testimony on quasi-judicial decisions of the Planning Board.
Please distribute this info to others who care about our town and take time to tell our Select Board that we deserve better.
Summary of Project
The Planning Board granted approval for this thirty-two unit complex on nine acres.
Results in decreased funding for our students and increased taxes for our residents.
The construction of 32 housing units will likely result in approximately 16 to 25 new students in our school district. The taxes collected from these lower cost housing units will not cover the cost of the additional expenses for the school district and thus the long term consequence of this development will be an increase in taxes and a reduction in the quality of education we can provide to the children of Hollis!
Will increase the traffic on South Depot and Runnels Bridge Roads.
The addition of 32 residential units will result in a significant increase in traffic at the site. This additional traffic is sure to burden present Hollis residents with additional delays.
Update: The Planning Board chose to sign off the plans without holding the required compliance hearing. Why did they choose not to verify that the conditions that were imposed on the developer were addressed satisfactorily?
This project has now been put forth for final signature at the Jun 2, 2020 Planning Board meeting. There are many significant problems with the material submitted by the applicant. Numerous conditions imposed by the Planning Board back in November of 2019 must be reviewed. Please review the documents attached below and advise the Planning Board to hold a hearing before issuing final approval.
Grounds for Zoning Board Appeal
Why didn't the Planning Board hold the required compliance hearing?
Letter to the planning board on 5-28-2020 Requesting a Compliance Hearing
Problems with Wetland Application
Problems with wetlands permit application
Detailed Description of Improper Zoning Interpretations with Annotated Site Plans
Why can't the developer meet our road or parking regulations? (Update 10-9-19)
NH Supreme Court case about roads in condo developments:
Non-Compliances With the Conditional Approval
Why isn't the allowed number of units calculated correctly?
(Update 10-7-19 NHDES confirms ponds are jurisdictional wetland.)
Why does the developer claim that he can fill the wetlands?
(Updated 10-7-19 Soil Survey shows disturbed soils)
Why the Developer Cannot Fill the Ponds Without a State Permit
Image of Developer's Site Plan Submitted November 2018
Plans Submitted in Sept. 2019
Letter to the Planning Board about Workforce Housing
Ordinance and Regulation Concerns
Over Nashua River