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March 14, 2013

Londonderry Planning Board adopts master plan

LONDONDERRY —The Planning Board has approved the town’s newest master plan.

At a meeting March 6, members of the Master Plan Steering Committee appeared again before board members, hoping to get approval of the 224-page document.

This is the first master plan update since 2004.

Last month, planners asked for more time before giving final approval to the document.

The new master plan project started in 2011 under the watchful eyes of the steering committee. That committee includes residents, town officials, and representatives from various other boards and groups.

The committee also brought in experts from the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center to poll residents on their views of the town and its future.

Last June, a “Planapalooza” was held for a week, bringing community members together to work on the master plan.

Steering Committee Chairman Leitha Reilly said the group received a lot of positive feedback.

“We’re proud of the document,” she said. “This gives us an idea of what’s possible.”

The new plan deals with specific principles for Londonderry, including where people want to see the town go and grow in years ahead, including zoning, infrastructure, education, green space, business, economic development, recreation and historical integrity.

The document doesn’t set anything set in stone, committee members said, but gives the town food for thought and presents a model on how town officials can move forward.

Some Planning Board members hoped to have more detailed information about the proposed 600-acre Woodmont project included in the new master plan.

“I find it difficult to believe we wouldn’t incorporate it somehow,” John Laferriere said. “Six hundred acres is significant.”

Laferriere said he hoped there would be more definitive directions on where the town is headed and how something like Woodmont might affect the community.

Reilly said the document was designed to be a road map for how to get certain things accomplished. She said the information included does apply to the Woodmont process.

“This is a playbook, not a script,” she said. “There is a character to this town and people feel Londonderry has this unique quality about it. We tried to capture that.”

The board adopted the final plan with only minor changes in language. Copies of the master plan are available online through the town website and at Leach Library.

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