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Derry

June 5, 2014

Derry parking lot plan back on track

Granite House plans 15-spaces on W. Broadway

DERRY — The weeds are gone and the piles of dirt are being smoothed.

A parking lot plan is back on track after several years of being tied up in legal battles.

Work began earlier this week on a 15-space parking lot for the adjacent Granite State sober living facility on West Broadway.

Granite House owner Eric Spofford said he felt “tremendous joy” that the parking lot work is finally underway.

The original parking lot plan dates back to 2002 when the Planning Board approved the project.

Soon after, a lawsuit was filed in Superior Court on behalf of Dom Vincent LLC, contending the town never should have approved the plan.

The court sided with the town. “The approval was appealed to the Rockingham County Superior Court which upheld the site plan on Nov. 26, 2012,” acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said.

That decision was then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which upheld the Superior Court’s decision last fall, Budreau said.

Local businessman Steve Trefethen represents both Dom Vincent and Summerview Realty, with offices located across the street from Granite House and the parking lot.

He is no stranger to battles with the Granite House.

Trefethen fought the opening of the sober living facility at 35 West Broadway several years ago.

He spoke publicly at town meetings saying the facility, the site of the former Marinier’s Inn boardinghouse, would lower property values in town and would be inappropriate for the neighborhood.

“He has fought us tooth and nail on all our approvals,” Spofford said.

But Granite House received strong support for its programs from other residents and abutters. Both Planning and Zoning boards gave the facility approval.

Trefethen said Monday he still has concerns about Granite House.

“I still don’t think this is a good use for the downtown,” he said.

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