A (Small) Move Ahead For The Resurrection Of The Balsams

May 19, 2016

The Coos Planning Board met in Lancaster. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Wednesday night the Coos Planning Board concluded that the Balsams developers provided all the information needed to begin an in-depth consideration of a plan to renovate the Dix and Hampshire Houses.

Those buildings are the familiar centerpiece of the old resort and developer Les Otten’s plan is for condominium units that could also be used as hotel rooms.

The board was checking a laundry list of details ranging from the dimensions of the buildings to plans for handling storm water. It accepted the application as “complete,” which means it can now consider the plan in detail. The board must approve the plan before construction can begin.

“We’re very pleased with the progress we made tonight. Having the board accepting our site plan application as complete is a very important first step,” said Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for Otten.

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A public hearing is planned in Colebrook on June 6th.

Otten hopes to begin construction this summer, spokesman Tranchemontagne said.

That would be the first major construction since Otten got involved in the project two years ago. However, Otten still doesn’t have all the financing he needs.

For Otten’s team the approval was a huge change from last month. At that meeting the planning board found the plan to expand the ski slopes was missing lots of information. At one point board chairman John Scarinza wondered aloud whether the submission was premature.

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR