SEABROOK — A proposal to assemble greater than 330 new housing items on the Route 107 property owned by The Brook playing venue has hit a roadblock.
The city’s Zoning Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to reject variances wanted to make the challenge a actuality.
The applying for variances was filed by Nevada-based RMH NH, LLC, an organization linked to The Brook operator Eureka Casinos. It requested variances to construct a multi-building rental housing complicated on 75.6 acres of its land at 319 Route 107. Meant for the southwest nook of the lot of the previous greyhound racing observe, the land spans two city zones: the agricultural zone and the economic zone.
The proposal known as for 3, four-story residence buildings on the “core” of the complicated with 304 rental items — 144 one-bedroom and 160 two-bedroom residences. Surrounding the three buildings could be 28 two-bedroom townhouses, based on the appliance, for a complete of 332 housing items.
Variances are required to construct the complicated as a result of, based on Seabrook’s zoning ordinances, multi-unit housing will not be permitted within the rural or industrial zones, based on ZBA Chairman Jeff Brown.
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Opposition to the challenge
Brown stated he wasn’t stunned to see dozens of Seabrook residents prove on the listening to expressing their displeasure with the proposal. However what he discovered surprising was RMH NH’s presentation Wednesday evening, as a result of it differed from the corporate’s written ZBA utility.
On the listening to the corporate promoted a luxurious housing complicated on the prime of the rental market, Brown stated, whereas the appliance “centered on workforce housing.”
Though a market-rate housing growth was talked about, in its utility RMH NH’s implied it was critically evaluating constructing housing to accommodate the common employee to assist alleviate the state’s labor scarcity.
In its utility, RMH NH cautioned board members the city’s powers to manage a “workforce housing challenge” are restricted. Based on the appliance, New Hampshire legislation “expressly states that no ordinance or regulation shall be interpreted or enforced to decrease or deny affordable alternatives for workforce housing.”
Throughout his presentation Wednesday evening, RMH NH’s lawyer John Cronin said greater than as soon as the challenge was “not workforce housing” nor “low-income housing.”
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Mission described as a ‘luxurious growth’
Andre Service, president and chief working officer of Eureka Casinos, proudly described the challenge as a “luxurious growth, as a result of that’s what the market desires.”
Lease costs would vary from $2,200 to $3,500 for the one- and two-bedroom items, Service stated, and facilities would come with a pool, gymnasium, strolling trails, even pickleball courts. He stated the everyday renter could be empty nesters who had offered their large houses and had been seeking to downsize in a seaside neighborhood, in addition to younger professionals renting till they’ll discover one thing to purchase. Neither, he stated, carry a number of youngsters with them to impression faculties.
Cronin offered numerous letters endorsing the proposal, together with one from the Hampton Space Chamber of Commerce.
Abutters not glad
Whereas RMH NH said in its utility they met with abutters and so they didn’t discover the challenge objectionable, that did not show to be the case Wednesday evening.
One abutter, Rob Johnson, stated Service misled abutters on the assembly at The Brook. After a pleasant meal, Johnson stated, Service’s presentation provided a little bit about different kinds of industrial developments on the land, then “spun” the advantages of the housing complicated.
“You probably did an ideal job of pulling the wool over our eyes,” Johnson stated, including he was in opposition to the challenge.
Cronin informed ZBA members the addition of 332 housing items would add about $900,000 in new tax revenues, however solely 18 youngsters to Seabrook’s faculty district, one thing he stated native faculties might simply take up with out price will increase. He additionally denied the housing complicated would put extra calls for on surrounding roads and different city providers, like police, fireplace, water and sewer.
These claims didn’t fly with most residents on the listening to, together with Philip Walsh, who stated all Seabrook taxpayers would decide up the tab for the stress such a big housing complicated would placed on city providers.
“You’re going to harm the lecturers; you’re going to harm the police division; you’re going to harm the fireplace division,” Walsh stated. “$900,000 is nothing; it’s chump change. The burden will fall on the property homeowners.”
Abutter Samuel Rodrigez informed the board he moved to Seabrook to get away from simply one of these ambiance.
“I do know what it’s prefer to have the trash and noise from too many individuals; I got here right here from Lynn,” stated Rodrigez. “This isn’t going to have an effect on Seabrook in a optimistic method. I noticed this in Revere with (the redevelopment of) Suffolk Downs (former horse racing park).”
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Brown, the ZBA chairman, informed Cronin and Service that traditionally residential developments improve calls for on a neighborhood’s providers whereas offering a minimal in property taxes. He added industrial or industrial developments do the alternative, they put fewer demand on providers whereas maximizing tax income.
He additionally challenged the implication Cronin made in his utility that Seabrook doesn’t at the moment present affordable alternatives for housing.
Brown stated alongside New Hampshire’s Seacoast, Seabrook already presents a big stock of rental items and residence complexes, greater than different communities within the area. Its housing alternatives embody the 400-unit Rockingham Village, which caters to renters of low to average revenue.
Seabrook additionally has numerous cellular house parks, Brown stated, offering extra reasonably priced housing choices. And in contrast to most of its neighbors, Brown added, Seabrook permits houses on small tons, not the two-acre zoning necessities of different Seacoast cities, which drive up housing prices.
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The board rejected all three variance requests for the challenge. One to permit a number of buildings on one lot, one to permit multi-family dwellings on land the place it isn’t permitted, and one to permit buildings to exceed most peak allowances, particularly greater than 30 toes within the rural zone and 50 toes within the industrial zone.
Based on Brown, RMH NH can request reconsideration of the ZBA’s denial, however new info have to be offered for one more listening to. If that also fails to get ZBA approval, Brown stated, RMH NH can file an enchantment at Superior Court docket.