To the editor:
As more people learn about the 98-room hotel and restaurant proposed for the Intervale Motel site many legitimate concerns have been raised. As a homeowner and full-time resident in the immediate neighborhood on Neighbors Row, I understand all of them.
To ensure a pathway for future safety and character of this special area in Conway, we ask the planning board to take two specific actions this Thursday at its meeting to be held at Kennett High School.
First, the planning board should reimpose the 50-foot buffer for privacy and safety of direct abutters. In a show of goodwill last winter, the planning board voted to rescind their requirement of a 50-foot buffer to allow HEB greater flexibility to redesign the project and take community concerns into account. Unfortunately, HEB returned with a new plan that only nominally addresses height (from 55-feet tall to 51.5-feet tall) and room count (105 rooms to 98 rooms).
Only 10 feet of snow storage and a possible fence sit between the hotel parking lot and neighbors’ homes. The planning board has the authority to reimpose the buffer.
Second, the planning board should request NH Department of Transportation conduct a comprehensive analysis of traffic and pedestrian safety issues. The HEB-commissioned study conducted in April 2021 only addressed the hotel occupancy. An analysis during the slowest traffic month of the year including only a portion of the business capacity does not accurately reflect the impacts of this proposal.
When this proposed development is placed at the dangerous intersection of Route 16, Intervale Cross Road, and the Scenic Vista — an area that has seen three fatal accidents in the last 12 years — it is sure to increase safety risks. A deeper analysis is needed. The planning board can request NHDOT’s expertise for this critical intersection.
Please join me and our neighbors at the planning board meeting this Thursday to voice your concerns. The planning board can stand up to the threats of the developer’s lawyers and exercise the authority provided to them by the townspeople of Conway.
The future of the Intervale neighborhood — and of Conway — are at stake.