Dartmouth to Appeal Athletic Facility Decision to N.H. Supreme Court

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Hanover — Dartmouth College officials say they plan to appeal the Hanover Planning Board’s denial of a permit for a proposed 70,000-square-foot athletic facility to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Abutters to the planned $17.5 million building, which Dartmouth said its athletes need for winter practice, objected to its size and appearance, fighting it through town proceedings and during a Superior Court appeal.

A Superior Court judge last month dismissed Dartmouth’s contention that the Planning Board’s 4-1 rejection last December was based on standards that were too vague to enforce.

“The college believes that the New Hampshire Superior Court decision of Sept. 21 significantly and mistakenly expands Planning Board discretion in the review of building projects,” Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said in an email on Friday explaining the college’s decision to appeal to the state’s highest court.

“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.”

Hanover residents who opposed the project, proposed for a college-owned field near Tyler Road, east of South Park Street, hired a lawyer to defend the Planning Board’s decision in court. After the judge’s ruling, the neighbors said they planned to stay involved throughout the appeals process.