Dartmouth will appeal Grafton Superior Court indoor practice facility decision

by Peter Charalambous | 10/9/17 2:15am

The College plans to appeal a Grafton Superior Court decision from Sept. 21, which denied the College’s initial appeal regarding a denial for a new indoor practice facility.

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email that the College is concerned about the Planning Board’s increased discretion in reviewing applications.

“The potential impact of the decision extends well beyond Dartmouth and is relevant to others in the state committed to responsible development based upon clear and definite standards of design and review,” Lawrence wrote.

The College hopes to define the scope of the Planning Board’s power to apply and interpret regulations through this appeal.

In 2015, the College proposed a plan to build a $20 million, 70,000 square foot indoor sports practice facility. The facility, which would be built next to the Boss Tennis Center, would be utilized for indoor practice during the winter.

The Hanover Planning Board denied a permit for the facility despite the fact that the plan complied with zoning regulations. Four of the five members on the Planning Board voted against the proposed plan, citing other regulations. Furthermore, the Planning Board members called for projects to comply with “harmonious and aesthetically pleasing development of the town” as well as the town’s master plan, which each town in New Hampshire is required to have.

The College appealed the Hanover Planning Board’s decision to Grafton Superior Court on the basis that the Board lacks the authority to deny an application that complies with zoning regulations. The Grafton Superior Court denied this appeal on Sept. 21.

Presiding judge Peter Bornstein noted in his decision that the College did not properly prove that the Board’s decision was “unlawful or unreasonable.”