Pelham is delighted with the new Enterprise Bank that opened its doors in the Spring of 2012. The project is more than just a new bank; it's an engineering marvel with underground flood storage tanks and other subterranean features unseen in other structures along Pelham's Beaver Brook. This project was another instance of the land use boards working hand-in-hand with the development team to streamline the permitting process while making the small site work. Jeff Gowan, Pelham Planning Director, was so pleased with the new bank building and the process that helped make it a reality, that he entered the project in the 2012 New Hampshire Planner's Association awards competition for Project of the Year and it was selected as the winning entry. Mr. Gowan said of the project,"this success story goes far deeper than the addition of a beautiful new bank along our main roadway. This project set a new bar for visual quality and creative engineering. It also brought us a new bank specializing in business lending which meets a key Economic Development Committee objective."
New Zoning District 5
In 2008 the voters of Pelham strongly supported the establishment of the new business district #5. This northward expansion of the business district along Route 38 is comprised of numerous properties totaling approximately 100 acres. The new zone is deep enough and has enough frontage to accommodate several business development projects or for a large mixed-use project if two or more of the lager parcels are combined. The uses contemplated for the zone include professional office space, banks, medical services, educational facilities, health clubs, recreation facilities, family entertainment, retail shopping, grocery stores and restaurants.
Planning Director Jeff Gowan has stated “this new zone holds tremendous promise for Pelham and for new businesses who want to relocate to New Hampshire. It is my hope that one or more real estate developers will recognize the opportunity this new zone represents and contact me so I can connect them to the key property owners who are very interested in selling the land or finding the right partner to develop the opportunity.”
Pelham Roundabouts are finished and operating as planned
After nearly a decade of working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Nashua Regional Planning Commission and Pelham’s BOS and local stakeholders Pelham’s dual roundabout project is complete and functioning as planned.
The project began with former Selectman Jean-Guy Bergeron and former resident and NRPC Commissioner Leo Thibeault “dropping-in” on the former NHDOT Commissioner Carol Murray to ask for traffic lights for the long-troubled intersection of Main Street, and Windham, Nashua and Marsh Roads. They were advised to seek funding through their legislators which resulting in 2 Federal earmarks totaling $3.94 Million being established to design and build a traffic solution. The NHDOT had just embraced a fairly new approach to highway design called Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) where they work with the impacted community and a group of local stakeholders to evaluate alternatives and establish consensus on a specific solution to solve transportation problem at hand for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrian safety.
The CCS process considered multiple solutions including stops signs, traffic lights, a large single roundabout and the dual roundabouts that were ultimately selected as the best option. The construction spanned two years due mainly to utility infrastructure problems that were finally resolved in early 2014 so the project could be completed.
Since the 2nd roundabout was opened to traffic in the Spring of 2014 there have been no accidents except for one very minor fender bender. More than any other evidence of success, the lack of accidents is the proof that roundabouts are effective at improving the movement of vehicles while vastly improving safety. As drivers become more familiar with Pelham’s and other communities’ roundabouts, the difficulty experienced by a few drivers will subside.
The only aspect of the twin roundabouts that is yet to be completed are the signs that will adorn each roundabout, hanging from the historic granite posts located in the center of each roundabout island. The signs are anticipated to be installed in the Fall once the designs are approved by the Pelham Board of Selectmen.
If you have any questions about the roundabouts, please call Jeff Gowan, Planning Director at 603-635-7811.