MANCHESTER — The Manchester Zoning Board of Appeals will not challenge the state’s decision to reject the town’s safe harbor request.

The matter was discussed at Thursday’s comprehensive permit hearing with Strategic Land Ventures developer Geoff Engler regarding his firm’s proposed 40B affordable housing project on Shingle Hill.

According to Zoning Board Chairwoman Sarah Mellish, the town reportedly sent in its request for safe harbor after Strategic Land Ventures began the comprehensive permitting process, which is not allowed under Chapter 40B.

The Zoning Board of Appeals decided to pursue safe harbor during the first comprehensive permit hearing back in November.

“We had no basis for appeal,” continued Mellish.

Even if the town was able to appeal, the matter would be sent to the state housing appeals committee, “the same entity to which (Engler) would appeal if he’s not satisfied with our decision on the application,” explained Mellish.

“We did not want to irritate the committee with a frivolous lawsuit,” she continued.

Due to the scope of the Shingle Hill project, the Zoning Board of Appeals and Strategic Land Ventures are planning to appeal to the state to extend its six-month deadline for a comprehensive permit decision.

“During this period, the ZBA wouldn’t be allowed to work on an appeal process,” said Mellish “We felt it was in best interest of town to work with the developer to extend review period.”

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

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