Heritage Commission Okays Access Road in Kent Allen Forest

By Paul Conyers

The Londonderry Heritage and Historic Commission met on Thursday evening, July 28, and the addition of an emergency road in the Kent Allen Forest.
At the public hearing, Director of Public Works & Municipal Facilities, Dave Wholley, expanded on preexisting plans for the construction of the access road from Mammoth Road through to the Town Forest. He emphasized the road was not for public access and is intended for emergency vehicles, adding, “I wanted to keep it simple.” The plan is to keep the road low-key without taking away from the forest. Public Works proposed a simple chain and stone wall to prevent unwanted access.
“It’s a restricted access road, we don’t plan to add, but we’ll use existing stones to ensure that there’s no way to get around the gate,” Wholley said. “We may attach a small sign to the chain that says ‘Emergency Access Only.'”
Ann Champa of the Londonderry Historical Society asked whether the road would be strictly intended for emergency vehicles or if the road is designed to bring heavy vehicles into the forest.
“No other vehicles can go through? Like dump trucks?” Champa wondered. “As I understand it, this is more of a utility road, like taking care of the forest or for bringing in things for Old Home Day, or things like that, it’s not strictly for emergency vehicles, correct?”
Wholley amended his statement, noting Public Works would have access if needed, but the point of the road would be for emergency purposes. “There’s a limited ability to turn around in that forest.” Only town-authorized vehicles will be allowed, residents will continue to use Pillsbury Road to access the forest.
Wholley added the goal is to minimize the impact his proposed road will have on the natural splendor of the area. “I really do love the forest, and don’t want to hinder its beauty.”
Commission members unanimously voted to approve the emergency access road.
Other business during the meeting included meeting Kellie Walsh, Londonderry’s newly hired Town Planner, who started work on July 25. Walsh was the former Town Planner of Epping.
The Heritage Commission also received an application for a proposed water tank near the rear of Gordon Drive. The water tank project will not move forward before late September when Commission members will prepare questions.
Associate Planner, Laura Gandia, reminded Commission members of an upcoming meeting for the state’s Exit 4A off I-93.
The meeting will be open to members of the public on Thursday, August 4 at the West Running Brook Middle School Gymnasium. Residents of both Derry and Londonderry are encouraged to attend with questions, the meeting starts at 6 pm. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation will give its presentation starting at 7 p.m.
The Londonderry Heritage and Historic meet on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Conference Room.

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