, Derry, New Hampshire

February 20, 2014

Woodmont Commons returns to town board

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — It’s back. Months after getting approvals the town’s largest development plan returns to the Planning Board.

Woodmont Commons developers appeared at a meeting Feb. 12 to begin the process of updating town officials on a schedule for when things will start and what development plans will be.

That was part of the conditions of approval put on the massive 600-plus-acre, multi-use development that has been before town boards for more than a year.

The Planning Board approved Woodmont Commons last September after years of planning, public hearings, town gatherings and community input.

Woodmont Commons is proposed by Michael Kettenbach and Pillsbury Realty Development.

The project, as proposed, would be completed in phases over 20 years. It would combine business, streetscapes, residences, hotels, gardens and open space.

This first visit by developers following approval keeps the plan in compliance with the conditions put on the project.

“There’s not a whole lot to deliver yet,” said Ari Pollack, representing Pillsbury Realty.

Pollack said this time he would offer information on the Planning Board’s first condition, which was to record Woodmont’s development agreement with the county. That was done last month, he said.

The next update included discussion on Woodmont’s 3-acre donation of land to be used as town cemetery space.

“That was pledged as part of the project,” Pollack said.

He also gave more details into the planned access road that would eventually connect Route 102 to Pillsbury Road and would alleviate some congestion in that area of town.

Pollack called that road the project’s “gateway,” and said it would be a form of bypass to provide traffic relief.

He said within two years there should be some good activity happening as the project gets started.

“And we want to get people excited about the project,” he said.

Pollack said getting the access road built will entice future businesses to look at Woodmont as a potential site.

“If you build it they will come,” he said, “and we’ll be ready to receive them.”

The town’s development agreement with Woodmont also requires developers to provide an annual update on fiscal impact to the community.

Pollack said that information would come by December of this year.

With the potential 20-year build-out for the billion-dollar project, future subdivisions and other plans will come before town boards for consideration and approval.