Greenland mall case goes to top court

The battle between proponents of a proposed 357,000-square-foot shopping center in Greenland and those opposing it are readying their cases before the state Supreme Court.

The court has scheduled a Sept. 23 hearing on the case that was brought by abutters seeking to halt Packard Development of Newton, Mass., from building a large shopping center containing a Lowe’s, Target and major supermarket.

The suit, filed in April 2002, seeks to overturn a special exception granted by the zoning board of adjustment allowing retail sales in an industrial zone.

The group of abutters fighting the special exception said the shopping center would negatively affect their quality of life. They also said it should not have been granted because this large-scale shopping center did not meet the definition of “retail sales.”

In December, Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Harold Perkins dismissed most of the abutters’ arguments. However, he remanded the case, saying board member James Wilbur should not have voted because he missed two meetings pertaining to the exception. In addition, Perkins said the town failed to follow through on a promise to obtain an independent report of how the project would affect property values.

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