Seabrook and The Brook reach agreement on Casino’s 264-unit residential project

SEABROOK – The city has reached an agreement with the owners of The Brook casino to allow them to build up to 264 homes on 75 acres along Route 1.

The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold a public hearing on the “consent decree” reached on June 26.

The decree would apparently resolve an appeal filed with the New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board against the city of Seabrook by Nevada-based RMH NH, LLC, a company with ties to The Brook operator Eureka Casinos. The appeal was filed in 2022 after the ZBA denied the variances needed to build more than 330 homes on the southwest corner of The Brook’s acreage.

RMH NH, LLC, a company linked to The Brook operator Eureka Casinos, wants to build a residential complex on the site of the former greyhound racing track.RMH NH, LLC, a company linked to The Brook operator Eureka Casinos, wants to build a residential complex on the site of the former greyhound racing track.

RMH NH, LLC, a company linked to The Brook operator Eureka Casinos, wants to build a residential complex on the site of the former greyhound racing track.

According to the ZBA agenda, the ordinance “authorizes the construction of up to 230 multifamily units and 17 duplexes (34 units) at 319 Route 107, subject to Planning Board approval and certain other conditions.”

The agreement will be submitted to the state Housing Appeals Board to resolve the case, according to the agenda. The Housing Appeals Board is a three-member panel appointed by the state Supreme Court that hears appeals of decisions made by municipal boards, commissions and commissions on land use issues related to housing.

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Seabrook Zoning Board had rejected the Brook housing project twice

The Brook filed the appeal with the state’s relatively new Housing Appeals Board after the city’s Zoning Board denied several variances needed to move forward with their project to build 334 homes. Variances were necessary because of elevation and wetland issues, and because the parcels involved are in Rural Zone 1 and Industrial Zone 3, neither of which allows multi-unit housing under Seabrook zoning ordinances.

The appeal was put on hold while The Brook CEO Andre Carrier submitted a new plan to the city’s Zoning Board for a scaled-down project to address major concerns, calling for 223 homes.

Carrier told ZBA members at the time that the changes to the plan came from informal meetings with the Seabrook Planning Board and his desire to be “a good neighbor” to neighboring counties.

The new proposal consisted of 34 detached two-bedroom duplexes, 119 units in a four-storey building (43 one-bedroom apartments and 76 two-bedroom apartments) and 81 senior housing units in a multi-storey building for 55-year-olds. or older. The complex was not “affordable or Section 8 housing,” Carrier said, but did include 20 units designated as “workforce housing,” although the remaining units were to be rented at “market rate.”

However, the board also rejected that proposal in January 2024, reviving The Brook’s original appeal to the Housing Board of Appeals.

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ZBA will hold a public hearing on the deal reached with The Brook

Copies of the consent decree were not provided by the city. City officials said the proposed consent decree is not currently available for public inspection and is exempt from the state’s Right-to-Know law and protected by attorney-client privilege.

However, the settlement will be reviewed during the public hearing at the June 26 Zoning Board meeting at 7 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall.

Officials said they would not comment on the agreement until the public hearing.

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What is the New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board?

Since its creation by law on July 1, 2020, the New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board has heard more than 100 cases involving land use and housing development.

The board consists of three people appointed by the state Supreme Court. The members must consist of people with knowledge and experience in the field of land use law and housing construction. Members must include a New Hampshire attorney and a professional engineer or surveyor.

The Housing Board of Appeals has the statutory authority to hear and affirm, reverse or modify “the appeals from final decisions” of local boards, commissions or commissions on matters relating to housing developments, in whole or in part. Commercial developments are not within its scope unless they consist of both residential and commercial uses in a mixed format.

While parties can still appeal local decisions to the Superior Court, as has been the practice for decades, the Housing Appeals Board is adding an option that some say is a more cost-effective and time-efficient process.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Seabrook, The Brook reaches agreement on casino’s 264-unit housing project