We have completed the first (of three) phases of the approval process required to obtain permission from Hanover to construct our proposed house of worship. “Design Review” is a non-binding public discussion intended to provide the town with a full understanding of our site and project, and for us to hear from the Planning Board and our Hanover neighbors. Discussion meetings continue until the Planning Board is satisfied that relevant concerns have been heard and that our project is appropriate to send on to the Zoning Board for consideration of the three “special exceptions” we are requesting (namely, church use). Then, if those permissions are granted, we present the project to the Planning Board again for the final review.
We were very pleased that at the close of the second meeting (in addition to a site visit), the Planning Board voted unanimously to end Design Review. This decision that they are comfortable enough with our proposal to move us on to the Zoning Board is an encouraging statement about the quality of the plans that we and our design firm (Breadloaf) have submitted.
This is truly good news, but the process is far from over. In spite of the board’s closure of discussion, there were some very strong voices from the public opposing our project. Many of these objections had strong emotional appeal, but we are confident we are addressing the substance of these concerns.
We will keep you posted on upcoming meetings.