DERRY | Neighbors of a proposed 122-residence retirement complex on Kendall Pond Road worry the already-busy road will become more dangerous if the homes are built.

At last week's Planning Board meeting, Harvest Development proposed a congregate care facility with 116 suites and three duplexes. The developer seeks a four-story, clapboard-sided building with studios and one- and two-bedroom suites on the 5.9-acre property, which has been used by a landscaping business. The project also includes three duplexes.

Board members will walk the site July 11 at 6:30 p.m. and continue the public hearing on the project at their meeting July 18.

"We already have accidents on Kendall Pond Road on a regular basis," said Steve Barry, who was among more than a half-dozen residents who attended the meeting. "This is not a safe piece of road right now."

Barry, who said he doesn't oppose congregate housing across the street from his home, asked the town to consider road improvements.

Planning Board members acknowledged the traffic concern but said they cannot require the developer to address the problem because the project is not expected to generate much additional traffic.

Owens A. McCullough, senior project manager for the engineering firm Sebago Technics of Westbrook, Maine, said about a quarter of the residents would drive. He noted the residents are typically in their 70s and 80s.

The developer plans to install a sidewalk from the entrance to the intersection of Kendall Pond Road and Birch Street, commonly called Shute's Corner. Additional sidewalks and walking paths are planned for the site.

Meanwhile, the three duplexes may not be allowed under town regulations because they include kitchen facilities. Derry's definition for congregate care housing, adopted by the Town Council this year, does not allow for kitchens.

Community Development Director George Sioras said if the Planning Board decides the duplexes are not congregate care housing because they include kitchens, they would not be allowed in that zone.

In other business, the Planning Board unanimously approved Pinkerton Academy's proposed athletic fields. The academy, which serves Chester, Derry and Hampstead high school students, plans to build new softball and field hockey fields near the current athletic fields on North Main Street.

Those fields, to be built this summer, would replace athletic fields for girls near the vocational building, making way for a new building to replace 40-year-old portable classrooms. Building plans are to be brought to the Planning Board at a future date.

The academy's approved fields include a new football stadium and track, though Headmaster Mary Anderson said those would not be built this summer. Anderson said she hopes they are constructed at the same time as the new building if the academy can afford the expense.

The football field would be made of synthetic material and the track would consist of a rubber material. The area would also be lighted.

The current football field would be used as a practice field, and the old track would be destroyed and converted to a field once a new facility is constructed.





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