EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 18, 2012

Plaistow Planning approves Panera

Must have water, sewer agreements with Haverhill before construction

PLAISTOW — The Planning Board supported the construction of a new Panera Bread location in Plaistow Road’s Stateline Plaza last night, but a number of conditions must be met before work can begin.

In a unanimous vote, the board said there must be a signed agreement from Haverhill officials for the restaurant to use city water and sewer services before any construction starts. Other conditions of the approval include satisfaction of state air and groundwater management concerns, state support for driveway changes on the site and a change to the site plan guaranteeing that all future development in the plaza comes before the Planning Board in Plaistow.

Because Plaistow doesn’t have municipal water or sewer services, the proposed restaurant must either use the services provided by a nearby line from Haverhill or through a newly installed water well and septic tank.

As discussions began last night, attorney Charles Cleary, representing property owner Northstar Centers, LLC, said a city water and sewer agreement already exists for the site.

Members of the board disagreed, however, and argued the point as Selectman Robert Gray, who sits on the board, referred to a letter from the city saying otherwise.

“There is no agreement between you two,” Gray said. “You have an agreement for them to provide water to the site, but you do not have an agreement with them to provide water specifically to Panera Bread.”

As the discussion moved forward, the idea of conditionally approving the project — saying yes to it, but requiring that other things be done before the building permit is issued — frequently dominated discussions.

Among those against conditional approval was Leigh Komornick, town planner. “My recommendation is that the board not conditionally approve it based on water and sewer, because there’s just too many things” to consider, she said.

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