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Londonderry

December 19, 2013

Londonderry to take major look at zoning

LONDONDERRY — The town will take a detailed look at its zoning ordinances and rules.

A zoning audit is planned to help the town find out where any problem spots may be when it comes to zoning and planning for the future.

Planning consultant Roger Hawk will work closely with town officials on the audit, along with other consultants, including the Arnett Development Group, already on the town’s payroll as a consulting firm.

Voters approved spending $20,000 for an audit at the polls in March.

Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said it’s time for the rules and regulations to be scrutinized as many of what’s on the town books dates back decades.

“A lot of it goes back to 1963 when the town first adopted zoning,” he said. “Since then, it’s just been piecemeal.”

With the massive 600-plus-acre Woodmont Commons project now in the planning pipeline, officials say it’s time to do some study on what Londonderry’s zoning allows or doesn’t allow and where updates can be made.

Town planner Cynthia May said it will be a big project.

“We looked at the scope of work for that project,” she said. “We will look for consistency and how zoning works with the recently updated master plan. We will also identify where the issues are, and any updates that are needed.

May said the outside consulting firm will work closely with the town.

She said having the audit done will help Londonderry be more efficient in the future as businesses and development comes to town.

As part of the process, the town will host workshops and focus groups to hear details and give input. Those meetings will be open to not only residents, but anyone who has a potential relationship with the town for business purposes or planning.

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