DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 19, 2013

Conservation group ponders property uses

Conservation Commission members mull land uses

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — Having a wedding in a wooded conservation area could be a perfect scene.

But if dogs are being walked or hikers meander by during the ceremony, it could get a bit crowded.

Conservation Commission members are pondering how to move forward with a request for a wedding at the town-owned Broadview Farm off Young Road.

The 76-acre property is one of several pieces of conservation land in Derry. This is the first time someone has asked to get married there. A local woman wants to have a ceremony at Broadview in July 2014.

Commission member Dennis Wiley said there are many opinions on whether to allow the wedding.

“We’ve never had to come up with a policy on this,” he said.

Most agreed having a wedding at Broadview would be a good use of the land. It’s open to the public for hiking, walking dogs, skiing and other recreational events.

Groups need to get permission from the town if they wish to camp, Wiley said.

But there are issues to consider, Commission Chairman Margie Ives said.

One major sticking point is the parking situation along Young Road. She said restricting parking to one side of the street might work. Overflow parking could be available at nearby Upper Village Hall.

Broadview also hosts the town’s community garden project each year. Ives wondered if the usual public use at the farm would disrupt any of the wedding activities that day.

People also enjoy the open space to walk dogs, Ives said.

“There are practical issues,” she said. “It’s nice to have a outdoor wedding, but it might not be so nice to have dogs plowing through when they are saying their vows.”

She said the wedding party would be responsible for cleaning up the site before the ceremony.

Only the ceremony would held at Broadview, not the reception, Wiley said. About 100 people would attend.

“Tell them to come down to Upper Village Hall to rent for the reception,” Commission member Paul Doolittle said.

The historic East Derry hall is undergoing major renovations and offers rental space.

Commission members said it might be time to put an official policy down in print to handle any future requests like weddings. The town website already lists Broadview Farm rules and restrictions.

Wiley will get more information from the bridal party, he said, to make sure all sides are in agreement as to what would be allowed on the wedding day.