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Hannaford making no headway in suit against planning board

By Daymond Steer
OSSIPEE – A Carroll County Superior Court judge has denied Hannaford's motion to reconsider his ruling against the grocer in its case involving the Conway Planning Board.
Hannaford sought to reverse the planning board's decision to give Residences at Saco River LLC approval for an 80,500-square-foot retail grocery store behind T.J. Maxx in Conway. The planning board approval was given in August. The new grocery store is rumored to be a Market Basket. Judge Steven Houran conducted the final hearing on the case at the end of last March. The lawsuit dates back to September.

The planning board decided that a connecting driveway running from the site to Settlers' Crossing was unnecessary but Hannaford insists that it will be hurt by the extra traffic the project will generate on Route 16 because the access road wasn't built.
"Upon review of the motion for reconsideration, the objection, the court's order of May 6, 2013, and the pleadings and record leading to that order, the court determined that its May 6, 2013 order neither overlooked nor misapprehended any point of law or of fact," wrote Houran in his June 6 ruling. "Accordingly, the motion for reconsideration is denied."
RSR's attorney Derek Lick, of Sulloway & Hollis, said the connecting driveway would have only been required under town ordinances if the two properties were actually adjoining. However, the two properties in this case are separated by a narrow strip of land that hosts a sign for a campground.
Houran, in his May 6 ruling, agreed with Lick on the issue. Houran wrote it's clear that RSR's site and Settlers' Crossing shopping center "are not contiguous." Houran also looked at a number of dictionaries and concluded that the most common usage of the word "adjoining" means "touching, contiguous, as in joined."
Houran, in his May 6 ruling, rejected Hannaford's other arguments as well.
Now, Hannaford has until July 8 to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

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