Saturday, April 20, 2013

Court sides with Winchester Planning Board in Dunkin' Donuts case

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff

WINCHESTER — A court has sided with Winchester’s planning board in a dispute over a planned Dunkin’ Donuts in town.
Judge John C. Kissinger Jr. ruled that the board was justified in denying an application for a combined Dunkin’ Donuts, convenience store and gas station at the intersection of Routes 10 and 78. The development was proposed by S.S. Baker Realty Co. LLC, which is managed by Teofilo Salema, who owns other Dunkin’ Donuts in the area.
Kissinger wrote that the board’s decision to reject the application based on traffic safety concerns, and that the project would overwhelm the site and didn’t adhere to certain design standards, was lawful.
The traffic safety issues discussed during the application process included the left turn onto Route 10, cars possibly parking on the highway shoulder and potential overflow from a drive-through onto Route 78.
During the application review hearings, a study done by an engineer and presented by S.S. Baker concluded that the existing traffic pattern could accommodate any increase in vehicles from the new stores. However, a peer review of that study done for the owner of nearby Kulick’s Market, Stanley S. Plifka Jr., questioned the study’s traffic counts and conclusion. Kulick’s also filed as an intervener in the court case.
Also, during the hearings, board members spoke about their concerns on the size of the lot to house the 3,265-square-foot project.
“Given the competing expert positions that were before the Board, and given the extensive debate the Board engaged in regarding the application, the Court cannot find that the Board’s stated traffic safety reasons for denying the application were unreasonable or unlawful,” Kissinger wrote in his April 9 ruling in Cheshire County Superior Court.
S.S. Baker did secure a driveway permit for the project from the N.H. Department of Transportation. But Kissinger wrote that “even if NHDOT’s issuance of driveway permits created a presumption that the driveways for the project were safe, the Board could have reasonably found that the presumption was rebutted based on the peer review study submitted by the intervener, Kulick’s, and the personal judgments and concerns of the Board.”
Planning board Chairman Dean Beaman, Vice Chairman Larry Hill, town attorney Barton L. Mayer, S.S. Baker attorney Gary J. Kinyon and Salema could not be reached for comment on the judge’s decision.
In March 2012, S.S. Baker filed an application for the project, which was rejected by the planning board in July after a series of hearings. The board rejected a motion to reconsider its vote in August.
Later that month, S.S. Baker appealed the decision in court, alleging the board’s decision was based on perceptions, rather than facts, and that some planning board members had conflicts of interest and were biased against the proposal.
Kissinger heard arguments in the case on March 25.


Anonymous said...

Finally, some common sense prevails. A wise decision is made.

Anonymous said...

When will we as a town learn to stop letting people push us around and stack the deck in their favor.
This is not Plifkas town it is ours, what right does he have in fighting any other business from coming to town.
The only way to send a message to people like this is through their wallet, boycott Kulicks, drive to market basket have a better selection and the money you save will make up for the gas you use to get there.
I'm shocked that his influence also included Judges!!!!!
Allowing him to continue keeping other business's from opening shop is only good for him, and in no way is it good for us the consumer or taxpayer.
Lets send Plifka a message and make it clear and loud
"This is not your town"
Have you noticed that is this town the taxpayers and citizens never get what the want or need its always about the privileged few that get their way

Anonymous said...

How many more businesses and opportunities will be chased off by the "Chosen few" of this hell hole
The Citizens need to wake the hell up and take our town back from self serving greedy individuals

????????? said...

This question is not on the subject, but does anyone know what the town hall closing was all about yesterday, the 23th, from 1PM to 4PM?

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting to me that people want the government to tell us what our town should allow. The thought that people can sit and read minutes or a news article and know what is right for our town is ignorant.

The chosen few are just that....chosen...chosen by a process which the majority votes them into office. Not hand pick....voter chosen.

All of you people that use this forum to express your negative opinions and think that everything is a "setup".... Need to get off your computers and get involved. You don't like this town....then change it.

Go outside and make a difference. Walk the roads and pick up the trash left by the people who drive through here....maybe you might pickup a dunkin donuts cup. Volunteer to help the people of this town make it a better town.

Get off your butt and make a difference. Lead by example. Ask others to join you when you take just a few minutes to make our town better......OR........MOVE....

Anonymous said...

For 6 months now I have been taking the little extra time it takes to drive to Market Basket and get my Grocery's. I know I'm saving more money even factoring in the extra gas. I even get to stop at D&D on the way back fill up the tank and get some good coffee.
The point I'm making, my money is now leaving town and going elsewhere, Why?
Because I don't believe in giving my money to any individual who is trying to make his own monopoly at our expense.
If enough people start realizing this is what it takes to get our town back from greedy individuals then we may start to grow again.

Anonymous said...

Boycotting Kulick serves no purpose. Think about IT....How many tax dollars does Market Basket pay to Winchester? How many tax payer reside in Winchester that are employed at Kulick’s Market. If the Kulick’s Mall became empty who will make up the lost.

It is not about the privileged few it is about right verse wrong, the planning board is correct!

Anonymous said...

Just because Kulicks pays property tax and employs a few people don't let that fool you into believing he has a right to scare off other business's, He doesn't pay enough tax or employ enough people for that right.
Letting him do this only hurts all of us in the end and lines his pockets with your money while he is choking our town.

Anonymous said...

How much taxes is this now vacant lot paying?
How many people/taxpayers are being employed by this vacant lot?
How much food tax is being given back to the town from this vacant lot?
A highway intersection with other commercial/retail business's surrounding it and a few planning board members felt that another one wouldn't fit in or work there?
read between the lines people.
We have been screwed and duped again. This time the chosen few are a wealthy local business man and the few planning board members he has somehow persuaded to protect his interest against ours.
This spot was and is perfect for the type of business that wanted to go in, period.
Oh well, maybe we will get another second hand junk store or maybe if we are real lucky some more low income section 8 housing, after all that has worked so well for us in the past, Right?.

OLD SAYING said...

You can't fight city hall. I think anyone who has the time should get involved, but I can tell you from experience, if you want to make waves in Winchester, you will be ostracized in one hell of a hurry. But once in a while it does work, ask John Stetser and the former school board. Maybe after the tax bills come out in December would be a good time to try again.

Anonymous said...

Boycotting Kulick's is absurd and ludicrous, We can not blame Butch in protecting his interest. Where was the outrage when Tractor Supply wanted to move in town and Sharra told them to take a hike! Sharra was protecting her snowmobile club friend Gary Rokes. Isn’t this the same? You bunch of hypocrites, it all in who you support. I’ll bet you do not even shop at Kulicks.

Anonymous said...

I guarantee you I don't shop there anymore. If Mr. G's doesn't have it, Im driving to swanzey.
and I have researched the Tractor supply story and Im not finding anything about it, It never went in front of the planning board period. but if it is true it points out how important it is that we stop this self serving crap no matter if its a town employee, Board member, or private business man.
Its all bad for "us" the tax payers

Anonymous said...

If the developer wanted to build a stand alone Dunkin Donuts, my guess is that they would be building it right now. But no, this guy from Chesterfield who I am guessing could care less about us in Winchester was trying to shove the whole package, gas pumps and all, take it or leave it. Just like he did in Swanzey. I have to side with Plifka on this one. Just like two dollar stores in a town of 2k makes no sense, neither does a town our size with 4 places to get gas in a quarter mile.
I want more jobs and a higher tax base in this town like everyone else, but a couple of minimum wage convience store jobs are not the answer.

Kevin on Swan Street

Anonymous said...

Dont look at is boycotting but as not giving a greedy self serving person my hard earned money. Why? so he can use my money to keep more business's from coming to town and setting up shop. I DONT THINK SO!
I would rather keep my money local but untill things change I will spread it around in Swanzey,Keene & Brattleboro

Anonymous said...

Kevin on swan st.
Many people post about not caring about Min, wage jobs, but a job is a job and if it gets or keeps someone of welfare or unemployment then so be it. You also need to look at our work force in town, Not many highly trained or skilled individuals here. I Doubt they would have any trouble finding employees. Besides Plumb Pac and Town hall most of the jobs in town are Min. wage jobs including Kulicks.
Feeling like 2 dollar stores 0r 4 Gas stations is to many doesn't matter either, The business men would have developed the property on their dime increasing the value of the lots now and for the future, A bigger tax base! maybe your property tax will go down or at least stay the same next year.
Any one willing to build a commercial business in place of a eye soar abandoned house or empty vacant lot is a good thing. Adding to our tax base at their expense is a win win deal no matter if the business fails in the future or not.

fed up with idiots said...

It boggles the mind just how many village idiots we have living here in Winchester that point fingers and incite nonsense. Kulicks had nothing to do with the judge's lawful and expected decision, idiots, and neither did certain members of the Planning Board. Check the vote, it was a majority of members that used common sense in their decision to deny. That Beaman, Ruth and Doherty didn't is a reflection of their desire to please Sharra and the BOS, not the town's people. Adding competition to take business away from locally established enterprises is not productive and doesn't help Winchester in any way. In this case any new job(s) that may have been created, could have taken the jobs of others when those businesses suffered loss of revenue. Those of you who have accused the owner of Kulicks of paying off the judge or interfering with the board's decision are idiots and your ignorance is showing

the blame game said...

Exactly, just the Plifka and Kim Gordon, Brian Moser haters spouting their nonsense. Be thankful this town still has a grocery store, think what a disadvantage it would be for many if we didn't? I for one don't give a crap where I get my doughnuts, a doughnut is a damn doughnut and if you think adding another gas station to a congested corner is a great idea, then I have to question your ability to reason. Winchester has become a shell of what it used to be and we have no one to blame but ourselves for letting it happen. Think back what this town was 15-20 years ago and now look around. There is enough blame to go around especially with those who have held the purse strings and those who have manipulated the system to enrich themselves.

7 PM said...

Its comes up again 7-15, so come on down.