DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Londonderry

April 4, 2013

Woodmont Commons discussion begins again

LONDONDERRY — The waiting is over for anyone seeking updated information on the Woodmont Commons project.

Proponents of the 634-acre Woodmont Commons development plan appeared before the Planning Board March 27 after numerous public hearing delays, postponements and continuations. The plan application was officially approved in October.

Representatives said they are ready to jump back into the process to get Woodmont moving forward.

The mammoth project would bring thousands of homes, retail spaces, offices and medical facilities tot an area off Pillsbury and Gilcreast roads.

Residents have waited months to weigh in on the development plan, but delay has followed delay.

The project is proposed by Michael Kettenbach and Pillsbury Realty Development. Pillsbury purchased the Woodmont Orchards property two years ago for $7 million.

The project, as proposed, would be completed in phases over 20 years.

All parties involved say the project is complicated and will take time to review.

The vision to create Woodmont began in 1997 when Londonderry’s master plan included the possibility of creating a new village concept in town, combining businesses, streetscapes, gardens, community centers, hotels and homes.

In the years to follow, the town passed its Planned Urban Development ordinance, outlining regulations for new developments that are separate from current land use rules. Woodmont Commons is the first project to use the PUD ordinance.

A five-day design charrette took place in June 2010. That included state, regional and local officials, all gathering to discuss what Woodmont’s development might mean for the town.

Months of meetings followed between planners and the project developers.

Planned public hearings were delayed as attorneys, developers and other consultants worked to get information updated and in order prior to having more public input at last week’s hearing.

Residents have had many concerns about Woodmont, mostly dealing with traffic impact and how Londonderry’s rural character will be preserved.

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