By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Sun
COLEBROOK — The Coos County Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan and subdivision application for the Lake Gloriette House portion of the Balsams project following a public hearing last Wednesday.
The Lake Gloriette House, including 12,000 square feet of conference center space, as well as residential units, food and beverage, retail and guest and ski services plus associated infrastructure, is expected to cost $50 million.
The Dix-Hampshire House renovations with associated infrastructure will run in the neighborhood of $30 million. That project was before the board last year.
The resort — a streamlined Planned Unit Development (PUD) — will be built in stages, explained Dixville Capital spokesman Ed Brisson, with a total price tag estimated at $170 million.
The ski area development will be brought before the panning board this fall.
The site plan for the Marketplace and the Nordic Baths located near the Captain’s Cottage will be brought before the board for review in spring 2018.
The site plan, covering a large area of Phase One, includes the footprint of the whole serpentine five-story Lake Gloriette House, the Great Lawn, replacement swimming pool, Gondola Plaza, and relocation of Spur Road. In early conceptual drawings, Lake Gloriette House was named Wilderness Lake Lodge.
When asked about the status of securing the needed financing package, including a $28 million loan guarantee from the state Business Finance Authority, Balsams spokesman Scott Tranchemontage said that progress was being made. “We’re at work on meshing all the elements and are still a few weeks away,” he said. A majority of the five-member state Executive Council would have to vote to concur with the Business Finance Authority’s recommendation.
The application for the Lake Gloriette House had been made in August but the board continued the meeting since all the necessary information was not available.
Dixville Capital has already submitted the required Alternation of Terrain permit application to the state Department of Environmental Services. Those elements of the plan, such as fire protection, potable water, sewer, groundwater and drainage that must be permitted by the state, are by board agreement being handled solely by the state in the interest of eliminating any unnecessary duplication of effort.
The planning board, in essence acquiesces to these state permits, said planning board Chairman John Scarinza.
Although documents for one or more condominium associations are not yet definite, they will be finalized before Dixville Capital seeks the state attorney general’s approval to offer units for sale. The attorney general’s involvement is due to its statutory interest in providing adequate consumer protection, pointed out attorney Christie Filmore of Gardner Fulton & Waugh of Lebanon.
Stephen Pernaw & Company of Concord submitted a detailed preliminary trip generation analysis for the Lake Gloriette House project in Dixville Notch. Plans for adequate snow storage were also submitted. The 45th Parallel EMS will continue to include The Balsams, now, during construction and after completion. Only an oversight kept the Colebrook Fire Department from submitting a similar letter of service.