Heated Discussions Continue Over Stonehenge Project OK

As many residents of Londonderry are aware, the intersection between Route 28 and Stonehenge Road has been a large source of controversy, particularly in the last few months.

Fueled by the recent reconsideration of First Londonderry Association, LLC’s site plan to build multi-family housing units next to the intersection, the Town Council was forced to open up a public discussion on the matter at their most recent meeting.

On May 16, soon after calling the meeting to order, council member John Farrell seemed passionate about finding a solution to fix the intersection issues. Farrell firmly believed that they needed to change the dynamics of the situation and that Town Manager Kevin Smith should meet with Executive Councilor Christopher Pappas, and even Governor Chris Sununu, to bring about a solution.

However, as assertive as he was, Farrell also noted to those in attendance that due to this affecting a highway, the matter is a state issue which keeps the town from settling the issue in a swifter fashion. If changes are to be made to the intersection, according to Kevin Smith, they would come to around $850,000, although two thirds of these funds would be supplied to by the state.

Council Chairman Tom Dolan also wanted the situation resolved soon, stating that the town is not afraid to go to court over the matter and that they have tried in the past, albeit unsuccessfully, to settle with developers behind closed doors.  More than anything, however, he wanted residents to know that their concerns were not falling on deaf ears, stating “Please don’t think [we] aren’t hearing you.”

None the less, several people in attendance spoke before the council in order to speak out. Deb Paul, owner of Nutfield Publishing and an outspoken critic of the Stonehenge project, brought up a number of issues with the handling of the intersection, most of all being the traffic studies done in the area. She noted that traffic has been an issue in the area for well over a decade and she believes that the study done for the FLA’s project was insufficient.

Paul believes these problems stemmed from action being taken “too little too late” and no one taking any reasonability or being held accountable.

Other residents gave their opinions on the issue as well, including Greg Stanley, who was curious if intersections leading to highways in town have been an issue in the past, and Richard Flyer, who was not sure why the council was willing to allow these problems to occur when developers in the past have met far more resistance from the council before.

Although the council is dedicated to finding a solution to the Stonehenge dispute, growth management in Londonderry also became a focal point, as the council wanted to educate the town on these matters so that they may avoid these situations in the future.  A slideshow was played explaining the ins and outs of Growth Management Ordinances and how they would pertain to construction in the town.  Furthermore, the council hopes to sponsor a series of growth management workshops in the near future so that they may be more knowledgeable going into newer issues.

The discussion ended after roughly two hours and although things did get heated, they seemed to end on a more positive tone than previous discussions over Stonehenge.

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