Conservation Commission Struggles with Woodmont Design Review

The Woodmont Commons site plan sent to the Conservation Commission for Design Review comments was 50-plus pages, and no representative from Pillsbury Realty Development attended the meeting where it was presented.

At the Commission’s Tuesday, July 26 meeting, the Commission members gamely opened the site plan and began trying to decipher the notes, but after going through all 50-plus pages, they could not determine where a wetland was located, where a proposed road would go, or where three ponds could be found.

The first phase of Woodmont is under way, and the proposal calls for 64 houses to be constructed by the end of 2016, meaning the road would have to be built.

A Woodmont Commons conceptual discussion is slated for the Aug. 3 Planning Board, with a Phase 1 site plan under discussion and 34 Nashua Road, 5 Garden Lane and 15 Pillsbury Road part of the discussion. That discussion took place after Londonderry Times press time. Woodmont Commons is a proposed 600-plus-acre development.

The Conservation Commission members were frustrated by the size of the site plan and the lack of a representative at the meeting to take them through it. Member Mike Speltz wanted to locate a pond that had been filled in as well as three proposed ponds. It was noted that from the site plan it appears the road differs from the Master Plan proposal and is in the buffer zone.

The commission members said they needed to speak with Town Planner Colleen Mailloux about having someone from Pillsbury Realty Development or the Woodmont Commons engineers talk with the Commission and help them review the concerns they have with the site plan.

Speltz said, expressing the frustration the entire board felt, “We can’t locate the ponds we’re interested in without an explanation and help from someone connected to the project. We’re interested in where sidewalks will be and whether there will be a bike path or whether bikes would be expected to use the sidewalk or roadway, and where bike racks will be located.”

The Conservation Commission emphasized they did not conduct a review and want to reserve the right to have an opportunity for additional comments after someone connected with the project talks with the group. However, the following comments were submitted:

• The Commission wants to have a representative come in and explain the plan.

• A cursory look done at the meeting appears to show no bike lanes or bike racks and this is a concern, as the development is supposed to be pedestrian and bike friendly.

• Pond A is not shown on the existing condition page and members were unable to find Ponds B and C either.

• The Conservation Commission members request the opportunity to provide additional comments after meeting with a Woodmont Commons representative, and this submission is not to be considered a review.