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Zoning board to review housing proposal

Staff report
Published: 1/24/2023 4:40:55 PM
Modified: 1/24/2023 4:41:06 PM

HANOVER — The Hanover Zoning Board of Adjusters will meet this week to consider Dartmouth College’s controversial proposal to build a 397-unit student housing complex on Lyme Road north of the main campus. The project has drawn opposition from Lyme Road residents as well as some Dartmouth faculty and staff. 

The college is proposing to build three buildings on the north end of what was once the Hanover Country Club golf course. The plan includes a three-story residence hall, a four-story residence hall and a 3,700-square-foot pavilion for student programs. The college has said the complex initially would serve undergraduate students while existing dorms on campus are renovated. Ultimately, the Lyme Road units would be geared toward graduate students.

In letters to the Zoning Board, residents and college faculty have criticized the project’s location, which is next to the town’s police and fire departments. Critics say the complex will generate unwelcome traffic, will compromise the neighborhood’s character and isolate Dartmouth students too far from the heart of campus, which about a mile away.

Dartmouth’s project application also is awaiting approval from the Hanover Planning Board, which held a site visit last November but has yet to schedule a public hearing to consider approval. 

The college is asking the Zoning Board to grant a special exception because a residential development is not one of the preapproved uses of the proposed site. 

The Zoning Board will hold a public hearing to consider the special exception request on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at the Town Hall, 41 Main St.

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