Turner residents appeal new Hannaford

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TURNER — Would-be abutters to the new Hannaford supermarket have filed an appeal in Androscoggin County Superior Court asking that Planning Board’s approval for the new development be tossed out.

A Hannaford spokesman said Wednesday the appeal wouldn’t change its proposal for a 36,000-square-foot grocery store and pharmacy on the corner of Route 4 and Snell Hill Road.

“People have that right to appeal,” spokesman Mike Norton said. “Really what it will be is an evaluation of the thoroughness of the process. In participating in it, we believe it was a thorough process.”

Susan and Philip Bizier, Angela and Daniel Chabot and Kathryn Woodward all own property on Snell Hill that they say in court papers will be “adversely impacted” by the new Hannaford. In their lawsuit, they claim the new store could have a negative impact on bird habitat, that it belongs in the town’s commercial district and that the Planning Board erred in an “abuse of discretion” in approving the site plan application.

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Town Manager Eva Leavitt said the Planning Board voted 5-1 to approve the site plan in March. On Tuesday night selectmen decided to retain town attorney William Plouffe as needed to work on the appeal.

“I don’t have any comment, I have to remain the neutral party,” Leavitt said.

She said oral arguments on the case could be three months away.

The proposed site is an undeveloped lot across from B & A Variety. The store is comparable in size to the new Hannaford in Winthrop, Norton said.

The company’s plan had been to break ground this year. Norton declined to discuss other local sites considered for the new store.

“I won’t talk about where we looked at, almost for competitive reasons,” he said. “You’re basically looking across where you can make investments and where you can create convenience for customers.”

kskelton@sunjournal.com

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