RAFCO, Inc., with Richard Flier trustee, withdrew its request to rezone Flier’s property at 132 Pillsbury Road from AR-1 (Agricultural/Residential) to C-IV (Commercial) because of residents’ concerns.
The announcement was made at the Wednesday, June 4 Planning Board meeting. The property is across Pillsbury Road from the Town Common.
“I cancelled it because I want to listen to everybody and do the right thing,” Flier said. “I’m going to set up a date for folks to visit and sit down and talk about what they want to see. This is such an important thing for the town, but I can tell you that it’s so sensitive – that’s why I withdrew. I don’t want to be a lightning rod for controversy, I want to bring people together.”
The property is the former Naylor Farm and is situated between Orchard Christian Fellowship and Londonderry Presbyterian Church. The finished property would have been called Pillsbury Farm.
Flier told the Planning Board at their May 14 meeting that he wanted to build three additional buildings on the lot behind the existing Naylor farmhouse, two Cape Cod style homes and a long red barn that would have served as covered parking for the property with a multi-bedroom space above.
He said he is currently renting a home and wished to move to the property along with his children and grandchildren, and use a small space for an office.
“The farmhouse is in such disrepair that I don’t think it will last another winter. There are holes in the floor where it’s rotted through and a lot of mold. My main goal is to save the house,” Flier said.
Flier said that even with the disrepair, the farmhouse “still has good bones.”
Flier said that after participating in the Master Plan process in 2012, his family had the opportunity to move to Londonderry. His goal, Flier had said, was to employ the recommendations of the revised Master Plan to create a more vibrant town center by introducing village scale residences within a live-work setting on the lot, while preserving the existing farmhouse.
He noted the plan was reminiscent of how town centers grew in agricultural-centered communities in the past, with families able to live near and support each other in their work and their daily living. The parcel was to be under one ownership, and he said the taxes would likely have quadrupled.
But complaints about the crowded nature of the proposal and concerns led to his change of plans.