, Derry, New Hampshire

June 5, 2014

Fordway apartment plan concerns neighbors

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — A proposal to bring a 14-unit apartment complex to Fordway has some nearby residents concerned about water flow and potential flooding.

The Planning Board got a look at the plan for 70 Fordway at a meeting May 21. The three-story building project was presented by Tim Peloquin of Promised Land Survey. He represents property owner Ernestine Kaliontzis and builders Keystone Building LLC.

The complex would be built near the intersection of Fordway and Kendall Pond Road. The rear of the property lies near Pinehurst Drive.

That has some neighbors in the area concerned about what that number of apartment units would do to an already sensitive area when it comes to water, septic issues and flooding.

Between water and added traffic issues, the plan worried some.

Town Councilor Michael Fairbanks lives close to the project on Rose Avenue. He said he was concerned about so many units on that property and how traffic flow would support that.

“I don’t think that lot supports 14 units,” he said. “And what else is on the horizon for this area that we might not know about?”

His wife, Janet, a former town councilor, voiced her own concerns about the plan, noting there were about 15 children living on her street now.

“This is a very busy intersection,” she said.

She also noted that when nearby Bunker Hill Estates was built, she and her neighbors had a lot of water and septic problems.

“The first year Bunker Hill came in, my leach field failed and my neighbors flooded,” she said.

That plan took away many acres of open space that once controlled runoff from storms. She now worries this new complex might add more stress to an area that is sensitive to water problems.

Others shared their water woes.

Debra Beaulieu lives on Pinehurst and said her sump pump is running a lot of the time.

Another Rose Avenue resident, John Blaikie, shared Fairbanks’ concerns about the water.

“I never had water in my basement until Bunker Hill was built,” he said.

He said his street is small and he also worries about the children and safety.

Planning Director George Sioras said his office was once located in a building in that area of town and he witnessed water problems and flooding following hard winters and snow melts. He recommended the group do a site walk of the property.

Peloquin said developers are working hard to make sure there is low impact to those living nearby.

He said he already met with the town’s Highway Safety Committee. That group said a traffic study was not needed.

“It’s a nice site plan,” he said. “The building will be as close to the intersection as possible to limit impact to abutters.”

Sioras said the walk would be a good thing to do to see the property.

He said there are more apartment complex plans in the town’s pipeline.

“We need to look at what’s there today,” he said.

The site walk is set for June 7 at 8:30 a.m. The plan will come before the board again at a meeting Wednesday, June 18.