, Derry, New Hampshire

November 1, 2012

Master plan workshop yields mixed results

Final Master Plan has mixed results

By James Niedzinski
Derry News

---- — LONDONDERRY — The third and final Master Plan workshop yielded mixed results from residents last week.

About 20 residents showed up to hear representatives of Town Planning and Urban Development, in addition to the Master Plan Steering Committee.

Brian Wright and Matt Noonkester, planners with the company, explained the changes between drafts in the Londonderry High School cafeteria.

One of Noonkester’s main talking points was job creation.

“Many people are leaving town to work,” he said. “There are only 0.93 jobs per resident; we want to bring that number up to 0.97.”

Only 10 percent of land in town is environmentally protected; the new plans hope to bring the number up to 40 percent, Wright said.

Other plans included an industrial complex near Pettengill Road and improving bike paths and walking trails around town.

However, not all of the plans were well met by residents.

“It shows what should be done, rather than what we can do,” Jack Falvey said.

Falvey also said he was concerned about the status of industrial and commercial business in the plan.

The areas of Pettengill Road and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport are listed as mixed use in the new plan.

Falvey said that would present a problem, as the industrial areas produce a lot of noise and should remain purely industrial.

“Soccer moms and semis don’t mix well,” he said.

But Wright said more people have expressed interest in seeing the area developed more.

Bob Saur, committee member and president of Londonderry Trailways, was in support of Pettengill Road development, saying people just want more places to eat in the area.

Ann Chiampa brought up several issues she had with the plan.

“These plans will do away with Londonderry’s charm and features,” she said.

Chiampa had problems with complete streets in the plan, which may eliminate cult-de-sacs.

Wright clarified, saying the plan does not intend to eliminate cul-de-sacs in Londonderry.

Saur met with the state Department of Transportation earlier in the year.

“If we do not have a complete street principle, the state will not make any changes,” he said.

Wright said nothing in the master plan is final; people can still comment or make suggestions to the plan.

However, Chiampa noted the Master Plan Facebook page had not been updated in some time.

Planning Board member Leitha Reilley said there is still much work to be done.

The board will receive the next draft of the plan on Nov. 17 and review it at their meeting Nov. 28.

The final draft of the plan is set to go before the board on Jan. 9, Reilley said.