DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

July 3, 2014

Derry buildings could be taller

DERRY — New buildings coming to the downtown may be taller than before.

Officials are continuing a discussion on a potential change in building height restrictions, particularly in the downtown.

The subject first was raised at a joint Town Council-Planning Board workshop.

The Planning Board continued a discussion at a meeting June 18.

The downtown allows many uses right now, from stores to residential buildings, with some reaching the current allowed height limit of 60 feet.

Town-owned property in the downtown area, specifically land that was once the site for oil companies in town, was the key focus and the driving force behind this discussion, according to Planning Director George Sioras.

Many people want to see the traditional style of downtown landscape continue, he said.

Several downtown buildings are at the three-story limit. But a change would give developers a chance to build higher.

It may be time for taller buildings with more progressive designs, some officials said.

But some said a definite restriction height should be kept in place.

Sioras said many people have strong opinions about the downtown and how it looks. Others want as much new development as possible and would welcome this change.

“This discussion has come up before,” he said.

Planning Board member Jim MacEachern said any potential changes should involve talks with town officials, downtown business owners and the community as a whole.

Any changes would also have to go through all the proper zoning channels, Sioras said.

The Planning Board will revisit this issue at its next meeting.

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