By Paul Conyers
The Conservation Commission came together for its Jan. 24 meeting to discuss a site plan for a Chase Bank at the corner of Gilcreast Road and Nashua Road which would mean the complete demolition of the existing building.
Randy Martin was present on behalf of Chase Bank to give an overview of the project.
“We are proposing a 3,100 sq ft. Chase Bank with a drive-through,” said Martin. “We’re proposing to reuse some of the existing trees and landscaping onsite, and we’re adding additional shrubbery around the site.”
He also promised to increase the size of landscape buffers and that the proposed re-development of the lot will decrease the amount of pavement and stormwater runoff.
The Gilcreast lot currently has a Suppa’s Pizza and a REMAX Real Estate agency on the site. The plan would be to tear down most existing structures.
“It would be completely razed and demolished, including the entire parking lot,” clarified Martin. “We’re not proposing to reuse the parking lot, the entire site would be demolished apart from a few trees. It’s almost like a less intense use than what’s out there today.”
There wasn’t much concern from Commission members, with a few questions focusing on drainage and the size of the parking lot. Chase Bank doesn’t expect to be finished with regulatory approval until at least the summer of 2023, with construction unlikely to begin before the spring of 2024. No vote was taken and the discussion will continue at the next Conservation meeting.
The 2023 Musquash Field Day, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Musquash conservation area between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m was also in discussion at the meeting.
“The mountain bikers are coming,” said Commission Chair, Marge Badois, in reference to an expected appearance of the New England Mountain Bike Association. “We’d love to see all kinds of activity.
The Bikers will set up a kiosk, including a presentation on what bikes and trials are available in the area. Weather permitting, attendees can explore the area on sleds, skis, snowshoes, or bikes. There will be a fire pit with food available. All Londonderry residents are invited to attend, although participants should dress warmly.
The ongoing Lythia Springs Conservation Purchase is slowly moving ahead. Town Council member, Chad Franz, accepted a $300,000 grant from the state of NH last Dec. to preserve the historic Lithia Spring property.
However, some difficulties have arisen around trail construction on the property. Redevelopment plans involved removing a causeway on the property, a move that could interfere with the historic value of the property. Removing the causeway would enhance the wetland habitat at Lithia Springs. The dispute has delayed the final purchase agreement on the property. A possible solution involved removing part of the causeway.
Other businesses included the election of new officers. The Conservation Commission re-elected every member to their existing positions on the committee in 2022.
The next meeting for the Conservation Commission is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers.