Immediate care center planned for Amherst

AMHERST – A medical building with an immediate care facility and doctors’ offices is planned for Manchester Road, near the town’s safety complex.

The applicant is Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, and on June 4 the Amherst Planning Board approved a site plan for a 11,000-square-foot building at 34 Manchester Road, near the intersection of routes 101 and 122.

At the Planning Board’s May 7, meeting abutters had many questions about traffic, road conditions, lighting and the handling of medical wastes, according to the meeting minutes.

Engineer Brian Jones said the building would have on-site septic, below grade propane and the facility would generate 248 car trips per day and have about 20 employees. The zoning board has approved two variances for the project.

The building was described as single story New England style with clapboard siding, gables and a hip roof.

The board tabled the case to allow for an outside engineering review, and on June 4, the town’s consulting engineer said he was comfortable with the plans.

The major sticking point was the medical building’s address, said board Vice Chairwoman Sally Wilkins.

The lot is actually at the end of Limbo Lane, she said in a phone interview Monday, and the doctors were concerned that people won’t want to go to a medical facility with an address of Limbo Lane.

“It never mattered before, because it was a vacant lot,” Wilkins said, but if people put Manchester Road into their GPS devices, it will say the address doesn’t exist.

The board suggested renaming the short dead end street Jackson Lane, after Bob Jackson, an architect and active volunteer who died several years ago. Jackson’s office was on Limbo Lane.

But then the warden of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, also on Limbo Lane, told the board that would be a costly inconvenience, because the church would have to change its address on all its stationery and legal forms.

So a board members suggested that Southern New Hampshire help the church, its neighbor, with that problem.

“I think everyone left satisfied,” Wilkins said.

– KATHY CLEVELAND