Judge puts Amazon logistics project on hold
By Ryan Lessard
Union Leader Correspondent
A judge put on hold development of a 2.6-millionsquare- foot warehouse and distribution center in Hudson after opponents appealed part of the Planning Board’s decision to approve the project.
Attorney Amy Manzelli of BCM Environmental and Land Law filed the appeal last week in Hillsborough County Superior Court South on behalf of 17 Hudson residents. She cited “significant” wetlands impacts that would not be adequately addressed by the developer, Hillwood Enterprises.
Manzelli said the Planning Board’s decision to grant a wetland conditional use permit for the project was “unlawful” and “unreasonable” because it was contrary to the weight of the evidence and did not comply with local zoning ordinance requirements.
The proposed development includes three massive warehouse buildings, two of which will be used by Amazon, at the current Green Meadow Golf Club property.
Manzelli estimates the project would affect about 2.8 acres of wetlands and about 7 acres of wetland buffers. An environmental study by GeoInsight, Inc., commissioned by the project opponents and released in November, concluded that between 32% and 58% of the current stormwater volume would no longer flow to wetlands and
streams if the project is built as proposed.
Hillwood has yet to decide whether it will intervene in the case and did not respond to requests for comment.
Manzelli said other appeals are planned.
“BCM is underway preparing appeals of the selectboard’s decision to grant the new sewer allocation and the Planning Board’s decision to grant site plan approval,” Manzelli said Monday.
The Hudson Planning Board approved the site plan for the Hudson Logistics Center project on May 5 with 72 conditions. On May 11, the Hudson Board of Selectmen voted not to reconsider its Jan. 26 decision to approve a sewer allocation for the project, over the objections of opponents.
The conditional use permit for wetlands impacts was approved by the Planning Board on April 21.
Hillwood has named Amazon as the primary tenant of the two larger buildings. A third, smaller building would be approved only after the first two buildings are built and a traffic study of its operations concludes traffic patterns fall within projections. Developers would pay a $2 million impact fee to the town, invest an additional $7.7 million for a STEM education program at Alvirne High School, a special fire department apparatus and other programs. Hillwood estimates the full project would add $5 million annually in property tax revenues.