Council Approves Parking Changes to Zoning Ordinance

The Londonderry Town Council has approved an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding parking and loading regulations.

The amendment was presented by Town Planner Colleen Mailloux at Monday night’s Council meeting.

Mailloux explained that the requested change was part of a “zoning audit” performed in 2014-15 and was designed to streamline the process for developers.

“There is not a significant change to the content,” Mailloux said. “We are moving the parking and loading regulations from the Zoning Ordinance to the Site Plan Regulations.” This, she said, will simplify the process for developers, who won’t have to deal with two land use boards.

Mailloux said the move is consistent with other communities in the region, which have parking and loading specs in the site plan regulations.

She wrote in a memo, “This action will provide greater flexibility to the Planning Board in reviewing/approving site design, reducing regulatory impediments to businesses, promoting economic development, and lessening reliance on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for parking/loading issues. This action will initiate new and updated minimum parking standards in a manner which is user-friendly and which affords the Planning Board flexibility to administer.”

In addition, Mailloux wrote, the changes are consistent with Planning Board and Zoning variances recently granted.

The Council did its first reading of the changes on June 20.

Mailloux wrote that the Planning Department has not heard any concerns from the general public, and that the “development community” has been supportive.

She said the Planning Board had already approved the amendments, conditional upon the Council’s approval.

There were no speakers in a public hearing. The board voted 3-0 to approve the change.

In other business, the Council heard a presentation from Jack Munn of the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission regarding the Solar Up! program. Munn was accompanied by Deborah Lievens, a member of the Conservation Commission.

He said the program encourages local residents to install solar energy for a limited time with discounts from multiple area vendors. Munn said the program is run by volunteers, at no expense to the town.

Munn said the Londonderry program would begin in September and run through November for 16 weeks, with a kick-off event at the high school. The Council agreed by consensus to allow the program.

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