DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

August 1, 2013

Subdivison plan draws concerns over town lines

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — A new subdivision plan is drawing a line between two towns.

Both Derry and Windham would have part of a cul-de-sac listed as town property in a proposed subdivision plan presented by H&B Homes.

The plan came before the Planning Board at its meeting July 17, but was tabled until October.

Planning Director George Sioras called the plan “unique.”

“It’s a very unique situation,” he said. “It’s part of the original Middle Ridge subdivision.”

Sioras said the cul-de-sac would be located in both Derry and Windham. The property includes 4.3 acres and the plan would bring up all sorts of issues between the two towns, including road maintenance responsibilities during winter and when repairs are needed.

Attorney Peter Bronstein and Benchmark Engineering’s Joseph Maynard represented the developers.

Maynard said the issue of town lines has come up before where subdivision plans are concerned.

“We once tried to change the town line,” he said. “It didn’t go very well.”

Maynard told planning officials that H&B started work on the subdivision in 2003 with about 500 acres located in Windham and a few other residential parcels on the Derry side.

Windham eventually approved the project in 2009 with 95 lots to be developed in five or six phases.

Developers said Windham had agreed to take over winter maintenance of the entire cul-de-sac area, including the Derry portion.

Not everyone agreed that would be a good solution.

Abutters Terry and Ruth Robinson live near the project on Diana Road. The couple was concerned about road work, school buses and how two towns would handle the unique cul-de-sac plan.

Terry Robinson told officials he also worried about water. His basement is often wet due to underground springs.

“More disturbance of that land could make water issues worse,” he said.

Although towns often enter into inter-municipal agreements over development plans, some thought the entire cul-de-sac should remain on Windham’s side to avoid any issues with who is responsible for doing what on the road.

“Windham should take over that road completely,” Planning Board member Jim MacEachern said.

More research was needed, officials agreed, tabling talks until a meeting in October.