Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Store dispute: Swanzey sued

When they won't take no for an answer ..

By Garrett Brnger Sentinel Staff

SWANZEY — The developers of a Dollar General store rejected by the Swanzey Planning Board have appealed that decision in Cheshire County Superior Court.
Zaremba Group LLC asserts in the court documents that the board ignored expert evidence and public utility laws in making its decision.
It also alleges the board acted in bad faith by having inaccurate minutes and referencing reasons for denial in the official decision that were not included in the motion.
Zaremba asks for a reversal of the decision by either the board or the court and for the town to pay for its attorney fees.
The land developer applied to build a Dollar General store at the corner of Route 10 and Cobble Hill Road. The 9,100 square-foot proposed building raised a multitude of concerns from residents, many of which hinged upon traffic safety.
However, it was fire protection that was behind the planning board’s decision on Aug. 9. The board found the developer had not secured a source of water for the store’s sprinkler systems and voted 6-1 to deny the application.
Prior to the board’s decision, the West Swanzey Water Company had denied water access to the project for its sprinkler system. West Swanzey Water President Sally Brown said the water system could not handle the additional stress, due to aging machinery.
Zaremba argued, to no avail, that pressure tests of the system show the system has the water to meet project needs, and because it’s a public utility, West Swanzey Water must provide the project with water.
However, as board Vice Chairman Scott Self noted during the board’s decision, “that sounds like it’s going to be a court battle and in the meantime you’re going to go ahead with your plans, but you should have an alternate in place providing that case does not go the way you plan.”
With no such alternate plan, Zaremba’s proposal was denied.
The developer asserts in its court petition the board relied “on personal opinions despite both the legal requirements placed upon public utilities and the field data establishing that the West Swanzey Water Company provided adequate water for fire suppression for the proposed use.”
As a result, Zaremba asks in its petition for the board to reverse its decision within 30 days. Failing that, it asks the court find the board’s decision unreasonable or illegal.
Zaremba also says the minutes from the board’s Aug. 9 meeting do not accurately reflect the discussion between members, the motion or the reason for denial.
The group made a transcript of the meeting and submitted it to the board, noting the errors, the document says.
Zaremba asks to be awarded its attorney’s fees, saying the board acted contrary to expert testimony and its records of the decision are inaccurate.
The Swanzey Dollar General project is one of several the Zaremba Group has been pushing for in the area. Other towns include Marlborough, Jaffrey, Bennington and New Ipswich.
The group’s proposal in Winchester was rejected in July on the grounds that its proposed 9,030 square-foot building was too large for the district in which it was proposed.
Zaremba did not appeal that decision.
Garrett Brnger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or gbrnger@keenesentinel.com.


Anonymous said...

Another law suit indirectly caused by Margaret Sharra.If she hadn't contacted this group to pad her own pocketbook at the expense of our town, none of these situations in Marlboro, Winchester and now Swanzey would have taken place. What a proud town we are that we can boast the biggest troublemaker in the region.

Anonymous said...

Wow now you blame Swanzey stuff on Sharra also?
That takes the cake.


yup, she did it said...

The only fool here is you who can't read. Sharra did contact this dollar store chain for her own profit and now that they can't build in Winchester, they have been searching out other towns and causing all sorts of problems for other people. So as the commenter above has stated she is responsible for all the headaches and eventual lawsuits that will follow them around.

Anonymous said...

Sharra and Gus Ruth are like most Conn A-holes that move here, we are all stupid in their minds and have a mind set to make NH just like where they came from by cashing-in on our stupidity. Gus Ruth cashing-in in at Terry Qualter's expense, took his gravel pit now his shop.

Anonymous said...

Now you are the reason we have negativity in our town and perceived that way to other towns. You try to lead with negativity and you will get negative followers.

How about we talk about how good it was that the Winchester people denied dollar general and took a stand. This gave the other towns a chance to think twice and follow suit with Winchester.

We have a great town.....stop putting us down!

are you nuts? said...

re you for real? Winchester people did not take any stand you idiot, it was 4 members of the planning board who voted to deny that application wise up will ya. People don't show up for those meetings unless it affects them and even then they don't go. We don't have a great town either, what in hell are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't blame Margaret for any problems in Swanzey, but I would have to say that I have never seen any town run like the underhanded way that we run Winchester. I can also understand that if you are a member of the country club, them maybe you would fight to keep the benefits you have come to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Pay attention people the Dollar store plan was only denied by the zoning board because it was too big, You don't think they are just going to submit a smaller store plan?
Sure glad I got my business up and running many years ago before the jokers we have on our boards now were in office.
People will not wake up until tax rates hit 40$ per.

been like this for too many years said...

LOL, yeah they are going to alter their plans and build a smaller store, sure they are. Taxes in this town will always remain high until we vote in some responsible people who will make cuts to unneeded personal, over expenditures stop and and the town gets run like a business and not a country club for the privileged few. Until the voters in this town get up off their butts, get involved and start taking an interest in how this town has been raped for years, you'll get more of the same no matter how many businesses come here. Greed begets greed, the more money in the coffers the more they'll spend.

Anonymous said...

Some people feel the spending and employees are the reason for high tax rates. Why not take a moment and think about the possibility of lack of revenue coming in being the reason for high tax rates.
Trailer park after trailer park Dump's for apartment buildings and more than our fair share of low income housing, Now add in the fact that it seems harder than hell to get a business's to come to town and I think all this adds to a high tax rate.

Anonymous said...

The only way that things will change is for us to stop complaining and vote. Every year we do the "rah rah" and nobody get voted out of office. Say what you want but now it's time for us to suck it up and do something. It is a crying shame when the Beaman's don't pay their taxes and others on the list are struggling. We need to change the attitude and the cast of characters in this town. You know if I were Dale and Maggie and I knew that people felt the way that they do about me i just might resign. Hmm. wonder if their egos will allow it. But where else can you get time off to see your lady friend!