LONDONDERRY — Watching and managing the town's growth is on officials minds as Planning Board members recently got an update about just how fast the community is booming.
Town Planner Colleen Mailloux presented a brief growth update at a meeting June 12, saying her department is watching and studying housing trends, building permit numbers and what projects and plans are coming in the years ahead.
Mailloux traditionally give an annual update on residential and also elder housing growth numbers.
Housing for older citizens stand currently at 841 approved elderly housing units on the books, making up about 10.9% of the total currently supply of housing in the town, Mailloux said.
Mailloux said numbers are still within the amount supported by town zoning ordinances.
Londonderry came on board as part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, giving the community access to resources and information on age-friendly best practices, models of assessment and implementation, and the experiences of towns and cities around the world.
In Londonderry, officials say older residents are concerned about housing and access to transportation.
Mailloux added the town's planning department, town council and senior resources group work closely together on these issues.
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities targets improvements in eight domains that influence the health and quality of life including outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information, and community support and health services.
The network helps participating communities become great places for people of all ages by adopting features such as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in civic and community activities.
Mailloux said Londonderry is committed to putting goals in place to make a healthy community.
As for residential growth, Mailloux said 135 building permits were issued last year for new residential units, including single family homes, accessory dwellings and multi-family units, an increase of 1.5% over the previous calendar year.
Ninety-six of those units are part of the new MacGregor Cut project on Stonehenge Road.
Surrounding communities are seeing less of an increase, Mailloux said.
"We are growing faster than collectively other towns in our area," she said.
In 2015, the Planning Board decided not to readopt a longstanding growth management ordinance as information showed the community doing well to manage its growth and how it affected infrastructure and town services.
The ordinance, established by state law, comes into play when town growth hits a specific rate. It can put restrictions on the amount of growth and building allowed during that time to allow the community’s infrastructure to catch up.
Mailloux added Londonderry is catching up on a lot of what was previously approved, including projects with multiple phases being built out and completed.
"I don't anticipate we will see 240- to 280-unit developments coming forward," she said.