Cross Farm Developer Seeks Permission to Begin Clearing Land Early

The ongoing process of building a new elderly housing development alongside Route 102 was once again brought before the Londonderry Planning Board during their latest meeting on Feb. 14 at Town Hall.

The applicants, Cross Farm Development, LLC, were represented by Jack Szemplinski with Benchmark Engineering.  Back in October, Cross Farm already received approval for the first phase of the elderly housing development, which would cover the first twenty one units out of two hundred, amongst other structures, on the lot that exists within Nashua Road, Adams Road, Cross Road and Route 102.

However, they came before the board this night in order to gain permission to begin construction on the project before all of their permits were granted, as well as a one hundred and twenty day extension due to the delay caused by these factors.

According to Szemplinski, the project has run smoothly so far, with no private property needing to be dealt with and a dredge and fill process for wetlands having no complications.  But they are running into some delays while waiting for permits from water and gas companies.  As the expansion of these utilities would cause temporary impact to the roads of 102, Cross Farm is hoping to move things along quickly.

Both Board Chair Arthur Rugg and Ex-Officio Tony DeFrancesco worried that such a permit would create a dangerous precedent, while Town Planner Colleen Mailloux confirmed what Szemplinski asserted and felt that the decision was a determination that was to be left up to the board.  It was also noted that the rules of not allowing construction until all permits were allowed were created while the Londonderry Home Depot was being constructed, due to the delays in its construction frustrating various residents.

Meanwhile, board member Al Sypek felt that the water systems must come first or the construction simply could not take place, thus leading him to see no problem with the rule change.  Board member Jim Butler also agreed, but warned that such a move was only a risk for Cross Farm.

“If you don’t get those permits, we’re not going to issue building permits,” Butler noted.

Ultimately, both the modification of the rules and the one hundred and twenty day extension received unanimous approval, with the exception of board member Ann Struthers on the former.

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