WINDHAM — Plans unveiled last night for a gas station-convenience store, retail stores and bank to be built on Route 111 drew some objections as the Planning Board reviewed a proposal expected to create up to 70 jobs.
Ralph and Howie Glynn Jr. hope to open the businesses by October in two buildings next to Dunkin' Donuts, located in the Village Center District.
Peter Zohdi of Herbert Associates in Windham presented plans for the 3.3-acre project and will return with changes in response to comments from the board and a resident, who did not agree with the architecture.
Board Chairman Phil LoChiatto raised concerns about traffic flow within the development as well as the type of lighting but said in an interview after the meeting that those concerns and objections to the architecture can be resolved.
"I believe we can," he said.
During the meeting, board member Ruth-Ellen Post said the proposed architecture is a mirror image of Cobbetts Pond Plaza, a Glynn property only a few miles away.
She asked Zohdi to return with a design that is more fitting for the district.
Resident Carol Pynn continued on that theme, saying the "cookie cutter" design of the nearby Dunkin' Donuts started an unfortunate trend in the Village Center and underscores the need for a design review board in town.
Pynn said the architecture in the Village Center District should complement the nearby Historic District, which includes Town Hall and a cluster of historic buildings.
LoChiatto said after the meeting that the town zoning board gave the project a variance to locate a gas station in the Village Center District.
Having a gas station in the center of town would be convenient for residents, he said, since the town lost two stations when the state Department of Transportation took land for the Interstate 93 widening project.
The station would have six gas dispensers and numerous catch basins and oil separators.
Ralph Glynn said in an interview that the development is a sign he and his brother have confidence the economy will improve.
His father, businessman Howie Glynn, said the development would create 40 to 70 jobs if all the units were occupied.
Part of the property affects wetlands and the Watershed Protection District.
Runoff would not drain into Cobbetts Pond, rather it would flow into Collins Brook and, eventually, Beaver Brook, Zohdi said.
The developers would widen Route 111 by one lane near the property to ease access, Zohdi said.
The project needs site plan approval from the Planning Board as well as state permits.
The board will host another public hearing before it considers the plan for approval.
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