Bow residents fear traffic and water issues from Flatley development 

  • Kevin Walker, vice president of engineering and construction at the John Flatley Company, presented a map of revised plans for the Bow development. Nina Moske

Monitor staff 
Published: 5/25/2023 4:05:18 PM
Modified: 5/25/2023 4:02:49 PM

Fears of traffic jams and dried-up wells dominated the conversation at Bow Town Hall on Wednesday night, where representatives of the John Flatley Company presented revised plans for a proposed mixed-use development off Logging Hill Road. 

About 30 Bow residents piled into the room to view the updated proposal and voice their concerns before the master plan is presented to the Bow Planning Board. 

The proposal, which is not yet finalized, includes a mixture of residential and commercial buildings on a 46-acre lot near Exit 1 on Interstate 89. Kevin Walker, vice president of engineering and construction at the company, presented a map with 15 single-family units, 24 townhomes, 20 units reserved for residents over 55 and commercial spaces like a cafe, restaurant and daycare. 

The current plan has been scaled back from an earlier version due to Bow residents’ concerns about traffic and water supply. 

“We want to be as respectful as humanly possible to you guys,” Walker explained. 

Still, worries remained. 

Residents fear that the project will further clog Logging Hill Road. 

“Friday nights, in the summertime, it’s already bumper to bumper,” said Andy Foote, whose family has lived in town for generations.

A dangerous off-ramp from nearby Interstate-89 complicated the traffic talk. The N.H. Department of Transportation has plans to reconfigure the exit as part of the Bow-Concord highway project, and the new ramp could serve as the main entry point to the Flatley development. But since plans for the ramp are not yet finalized, Walker said, the entrance to the development will be on Logging Hill Road. 

“If we don’t change this plan and bring traffic onto the highway and off of Logging Hill Road somehow, it’s not going to work,” said Foote, who owns several properties on Logging Hill Road. 

Walker suggested that frustrated attendees write a letter to the Department of Transportation to speed up the ramp project, but the idea was unpopular and drew comments from the crowd. 

“Can we write you a letter and we all sign it and you go away?” Kathy Roberge said, drawing laughs from her neighbors. 

Attendees also expressed concern about the water source for the project. If the developer relies on newly drilled wells, they fear it will run their own wells dry. 

“What I’m concerned about is when you guys put this in and you say, ‘Okay, see you later guys,’ and then eight years down the road, my well runs dry and I have this large expense looming in front of me because of your project, and all my neighbors are in the same situation,” said Rebecca Elwood, who lives on nearby Wilderness Lane. 

Others worried about potential pressures on local schools and the impacts of a massive construction site in the area. Some were against all aspects of the development. 

Toward the end of the meeting, Foote, turned to his neighbors. “Where are we at, guys? Do you want the project?” The response was a resounding no.

After asking his neighbors to sign up for an email list so they could continue discussing the project, Foote urged for some compromise.

“Change is gonna happen… you can’t fight change. You can hate it, you can like it, but there’s a middle ground for everything. So why not find that middle ground?” 

The John Flatley Company is working on other projects in the area, including the demolishing of the former Department of Employment Security building on Main Street in downtown Concord and building 64 apartment units there. 

Wednesday’s meeting was hosted by the John Flatley Company. Tim McCarthy, the company’s director of planning and development, declined to share copies of the preliminary plan with the Concord Monitor.  

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