Board approves zoning variance for Amherst St. halfway house

Staff photo by Derek Edry Terrance McMahon, the co-owner of United Recovery Centers of Florida discusses his proposal to turn a property at 230 Amherst St. into Recovery Mountain treatment center.

NASHUA – The Zoning Board of Adjustment has granted a variance to the owners of a property at 230 Amherst St. that will allow them to use the space as a halfway house.

The building, near Exit 7 of the F.E. Everett Turnpike, will become Recovery Mountain, the second facility opened by United Recovery Centers of Florida.

The variance waives the requirement that the building be more than a quarter-mile away from any hotels, child care facilities, hotels, tourist courts or schools. It is 983 feet from a hotel, the Fireside Inn, and 1,272 feet from a day care, the Nashua Child Learning Center.

Attorney Gerald Prunier, who represented the building’s owners, TMAC Realty Trust, said the company is struggling to lease out all of the building’s rooms.

“Retail is down, office space is down, but the need for this type of facility is up,” Prunier said.

Board member Mariellen MacKay agreed with Prunier’s remarks.

“I commend the people who want to bring this forward, actually,” MacKay said. “New Hampshire needs this, and we need it desperately.”

Board member Robert Shaw emphasized that the building’s distance from the day care and the hotel is actually significantly farther because the facilities are across the heavily trafficked street and the nearest sidewalk is in the opposite direction.

The 9,146-square-foot building will potentially serve 20-25 residents and employ 15-30 staff members, said Terrance McMahon, one of the co-owners of United Recovery Centers.

McMahon, who said he is an alcoholic in recovery, recently underwent a liver transplant.

A former insurance franchise owner, McMahon said he want to open the facility so he could help those who are experiencing what he did.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, or @Telegraph_Derek.