DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

November 11, 2013

Planning Board discusses master plan

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Now that the town has a new approved master plan, it’s time to figure out how to put the information to good use.

That’s the mission of the Planning Board as members decide how to move forward with the new document.

That includes starting an implementation committee to work on the next step.

This is the town’s first updated master plan since 2004. The board approved the document earlier this year.

“We now have to proceed with the implementation of the plan,” Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said.

The new master plan project started in 2011 under the watchful eyes of a 15-member steering committee made up of residents, town officials, and representatives from various boards and committees.

Residents were polled on what they wanted to see in their town. A week-long “Planapalooza” took place last year to help organize the master plan.

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.

Rugg suggested keeping the steering committee members on board to continue as the implementation team.

“We wouldn’t have to re-educate people,” he said. “We could go to them to see if they are interested. These were the people most closely involved.”

As implementation work gets started, Rugg said, the Planning Board would add any specifics to the plan they felt were needed.

“We can come up with guidelines to see what to tackle and in what order,” he said. “We are ultimately responsible. What are the goals and when?”

Steering committee chairman Leitha Reilly said the group was proud of the final master plan document. Reilly is also a member of the Planning Board.

Reilly said the document was designed to be a road map for how to get certain things accomplished.

Board member Mary Soares said now that the massive Woodmont Commons project has been approved, people may have the time to take on the master plan work ahead.

“Times have changed,” she said. “At that time (prior to Woodmont approval), to ask anyone to take on this task would have been unrealistic. Now, we are in a different position. We have all the time in the world now.”

Rugg said new blood on an implementation committee would be welcome, but the board would contact original members to see if they would like to continue the process.

“We will take it a step at a time,” he said. “

Copies of the master plan are available through the town website and at Leach Library.