Pre-construction activity for the first phase of River Park is now underway. For the past four years, Lyme Properties has mowed the pastures, eliminated trees that have blown down, and generally tried to maintain the property as any conscientious neighbor would do. It has been gratifying to have abutters monitor the site for trespassers, and on two occasions this resulted in putting out unattended campfires left burning by careless campers.
This past week Lyme hired Northwoods Excavating to clear brush, invasive shrubs, and damaged trees abutting the first phase site. In doing so, we now can expand the design and engineering teams to complete their work for the first building at River Park. Elkus Manfredi Architects, of Boston, will advance construction documents for this mixed use structure, with ground floor retail and offices on the second and third floors.
Today’s Valley News accurately reported our desire to reduce the width of Crafts Avenue extension so that it aligns with the existing street. We have a conceptual hearing before the Lebanon Planning Board tonight which will provide Lyme with direction for our next steps. We hope the Planning Board will agree to reduce the right of way standards so we can protect the tall red pines that potential lot purchasers want to save.
We have also made progress, I hope, with the NH Department of Transportation regarding the relocation of an existing curb cut at 197 North Main to the north in order to improve site lines. As you know from previous communications, the DOT conditioned their approval on widening Route 10 to three lanes, instead of keeping the existing two lanes with dedicated right turn lanes built on the River Park property. All of the Route 10 neighbors prefer our solution, which was also approved by the Lebanon Planning Board. I hope the DOT Commissioner will visit West Lebanon to observe our proposal “in the field”. We will keep you posted.