LONDONDERRY — About 30 residents attended the fourth Woodmont Commons public workshop at the Planning Board meeting March 9.

"It's a slow and deliberative process," town planner Tim Thompson said. "At this past meeting, at least there was some discussion for setting the framework for uses."

Forty possible uses for the 630-acre town center project were introduced, including housing, commercial buildings and recreational use. The Planning Board said no to a trucking terminal, but said the other 39 uses were acceptable.

Some residents expressed concern about newer maps from the developers showing increased housing in the area north of Pillsbury Road.

Abutter Jack Falvey has started an email chain, through which residents can express concerns. There are 84 people on the list, including director of development Andre Garron.

"The new owner, Michael Kettenbach, has yet to adequately explain his vision by a master plan," Falvey said.

This is getting residents nervous about density in an area that may not be able to handle increased traffic flow, especially if Exit 4A doesn't happen.

"We'll be talking about traffic flow at the next meeting on April 13," Thompson said. "This is 20 to 30 years of development that will move forward with future generations."

This is the town's first time using the new Planned Unit Development ordinance, which is a learning curve for both town planners and the developers.

A conceptual plan for Woodmont, proposed by Pillsbury Realty Development LLC, includes an estimated 650,000 square feet of retail space, 1,300 new homes, three hotels and 700,000 square feet of commercial space, with the remaining 40 percent of the property reserved for open space and agricultural uses.

Attorney John Michels, who spoke on behalf of Kettenbach on Jan. 26, shared a draft of the project's master plan. He said public feedback would continue to play a significant role in the process.

"One of the issues here is, if you want a village to really work, you need some density," Michels said.

Density would be of major concern since buildings of certain sizes could pose challenges for the town's fire department.

"I think many people have questions about this density piece," Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said.

Garron agreed, saying a five-story building "may not be appropriate" for the town. Currently, buildings cannot be higher than 50 feet.

Garron concurred, suggesting a buffer of original apple trees remain along the project's perimeter, among other things.

Town Councilor John Farrell encouraged residents to speak about their concerns.

"Now is the time, because decisions are starting to get made," he told the audience.

Residents are invited to meet with the developers every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at their offices at Woodmont Orchards on Pillsbury Road. More information can be found at

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