DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

June 19, 2014

Londonderry gives OK to workforce housing

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — A 240-unit apartment complex plan received conditional site plan approval last week from the Planning Board.

The plan, known as the Wallace Farm project, would bring workforce housing to a 25-acre property on Perkins Road near Interstate 93. Developers have come before numerous boards over the course of two years, including the Heritage Commission, Zoning Board and Conservation Commission.

Last week’s public hearing was continued from a meeting last month.

Half of the 240 rental units would be designated as workforce housing.

Families or individuals tenants would have to qualify by earning a certain percentage of the median town income to be able to live there.

Several years ago, a town housing task force determined there weren’t enough affordable rental units available for working people.

The farm land has a long history in town and is owned by developer Tom Monahan.

Nashua-based attorney Thomas Leonard updated the board on what had been done since the last meeting.

That included working more with staff to fine tune some details, including updated traffic plans at the intersection that would lead into the complex, and buffer zones falling near conservation land.

Town planner Cynthia May said workforce housing is relatively new in many communities.

Leonard said Wallace Farm is currently the only rental housing project proposed in Londonderry.

Families who want to live there could earn no more than 60 percent of the median income for a family of three.

He said this is not low-income housing, rather affordable housing. Rents would be approximately $1,300 a month.

“We would have to confirm the incomes of applicants,” he said. “We go primarily by tax documents.”

Leonard thanked the board for all its hard work.

Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said it’s always successful when two sides can work together.

“You’ve done your homework very well,” Rugg told Leonard. “I think it’s a teamwork thing.”