, Derry, New Hampshire

February 13, 2013

Londonderry officials hear master plan update

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY —The town’s newest master plan is now in the hands of town officials, but Planning Board members want more time before adopting the document.

At a meeting Feb. 6, members of the Master Plan Steering Committee made the final presentation on the updated master plan and hoped board members would agree to adopt it that night.

But planners want to read it all again — all 224 pages of it.

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

This is the first master plan update since 2004.

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

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

Steering committee chairman Leitha Reilly said the group received a lot of positive feedback.

“We got a good balanced snapshot of the attributes and opinions in town,” she said. “There were many different opinions and this was a successful outreach.”

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, educations, green space, business, economic development, recreation and historical integrity.

The document doesn’t put 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 on action items and priorities.

Town Councilor and steering committee member Joe Green said the master plan is now ready to be taken to the next step.

“We want you to feel the same excitement for Londonderry and feel the future and the process that went in there,” he told planning officials.

Bob Sauer said the plan tells the story of Londonderry.

“This document gets to the heart and soul of what people feel their town should be,” he said.

Planning Board members will read the entire document and discuss its adoption at a meeting March 6.

Copies of the new master plan are available on line through the town’s site and at Leach Library.