CHESTERFIELD, N.H. - Developing a cluster of condominiums on his land might be in the cards for one local property owner.
The idea of allowing Charles A. Donahue, a personal injury lawyer based in Keene, N.H., to build 13 duplexes as well as additional road and a private drive is being considered by the Chesterfield Planning Board.
If approved, the project would take place at Donahue's 75.7-acre plot near People's United Bank. Donahue said each of the 26 units is expected to have two bedrooms and each duplex building will share a well. All electric, telephone and cable television wires will be buried, he said. The buildings also will be wheelchair accessible.
The duplexes will house residents, most elderly. Donahue said David J. Bergeron of Brickstone Land Use Consultants LLC has represented him at the majority of planning board meetings. The application for the project is public record, Donahue said, and can be found at Chesterfield Town Hall.
Though there has been some opposition to the plan, Donahue said he has not had much of a problem when presenting his idea.
"It's a cool project," he said. "It's been very well-received, even by (those passionate about conservation). ... The development is incredibly sensitive to the town."
He said he used to be a national park ranger and cares very much about the environment.
The irony of the whole situation is that Donahue initially did not want to do anything with the land. He
"A lot of my time is spent thinking and your best thoughts don't come to you when you're in the office," he said, adding that he enjoys some light hiking to clear his head.
He said he decided to pursue this development before property laws "get even more ridiculous." He said he wants to create something on the property so his children or grandchildren will have a developed piece of land to sell if they need the money for some reason in later decades. He said the way the things are going now, land use regulations may prohibit land development by the time future generations of his family inherit the property.
He said he has four children and one grandchild.
"Private property is looked at as a very negative thing now. It's getting very collectivist, very socialist. It's an assault on our Constitutional rights," he said. "The Constitution entitles us to life, liberty and property.
"I get very offended when a small, elite group of people think they know better," he added. "We don't know what we're going to need down the road."
He emphasized that he feels anyone opposed to the project is well-intentioned but misguided.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-2542311, ext. 277.