Nadeau Farm may see changes

HUDSON – The town’s last commercial dairy farm could one day house residences and light industrial and commercial businesses.

Etchstone Properties bought about 50 acres of the Nadeau Farm. The Nashua company has proposed subdividing part of the land into 10 lots, of which nine would be residential.

Under the proposed plans, the former barn would be converted into 21,949 square feet of light industrial uses and storage. A two-family home on the Old Derry Road property would remain.

Etchstone has two separate proposals before the Planning Board – one to subdivide part of the property and one for site plan approval.

The developer is still considering what to do with 20 acres of the property, engineer Richard Maynard said at a Planning Board meeting Wednesday.

The area is zoned “general,” which allows for a variety of uses, including most permitted in other zoning districts.

Under a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the barn could not have any retail businesses. Under the zoning, about 25 uses could be in the barn. Typical uses may include carpet installers, computer cable installers, drywall contractors, glass-blowing companies, roofing or siding contractors and vending machine companies, according to documents submitted for the proposal.

The Planning Board started discussing the proposed subdivision Wednesday but continued the hearing after numerous questions were raised about the design of the main road into the property.

Alternately described as a shared driveway and private road, the one main road could be the responsibility of several property owners. A second entrance on Putnam Road would be barred and gated.

If the road were defined as a shared driveway, it would require a waiver from the Planning Board.

“I can’t figure out (how) this would ever work,” Planning Board Marilyn McGrath said. She questioned whether it was practical to have several property owners maintain parts of the same road.

The developer was trying to maintain the area’s character, Town Planner John Cashell said. The Fire Department has signed off on the road system, he said.

“It’s a special piece of land in a rural setting,” he said. “They want to maintain that country character.”

The proposed roadway system is a little different from what the Planning Board is used to, Cashell said.

“I think (we) should try to open up and see the possibility,” he said.

Some neighbors said they would prefer that the Putnam Road entrance remain gated.

At a meeting in December when the board reviewed conceptual plans, some residents said they did not want to see an increase in traffic on Putnam Road and were concerned about having headlights shining into their homes.

A substandard roadway is not servicing the residents in any development that’s built, Planning Board member Suellen Quinlan said.

“I’m concerned the plan is giving residents more deference than (the board) would give anyone,” she said.

The Nadeau Farm closed several years ago and the family sold all the dairy equipment and its herd.