DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Londonderry

September 20, 2012

Londonderry master plan update going well

LONDONDERRY — There were some big changes proposed during a recent Planning Board meeting.

Town Planning and Urban Development Collaborative was hired by the town to give an overview of the new master plan. Representatives presented their findings last week.

The master plan was last updated in 2004. This version is a 10-year plan for the town, although nothing proposed at the meeting was set in stone.

Some of the main areas of focus were the Town Commons, transportation, welcoming businesses, an increase in the diversity of housing choices and being more environmentally friendly, collaborative planner Matt Noonkester said.

Previously, the collaborative held “Planapalooza,” a townwide planning event in order to hear what the residents wanted to see in the future. The collaborative also has a Facebook page for the plan, which allowed residents to comment on the plan.

In addition to “Planapalooza,” the collaborative did 500 phone surveys, in-person interviews and online interviews. They received 362 comments about the plan. The planning group addressed and answered nearly all the concerns and comments about the first draft of the plan, which was released earlier this year.

“One aspect we wanted to acknowledge was not changing what people want left alone,” collaborative planner William Wright said. “We respect the history and ideals of Londonderry.”

Citizens are split down the middle when it comes to making a change or decision in town, Wright said.

Residents said taxes are too high, the area is overdeveloped and the town is loosing valuable open space.

Additionally, residents said they moved to town for its traditional New England atmosphere and rural aesthetics.

One of the major changes presented by the planning company was the revamping of the Town Commons.

“Some residents commented on how the Town Commons seem too small,” Noonkester said. “People have said you can drive right by it sometimes without even knowing.”

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