Impact Fee Ordinance Approved At Town Council

The impact fee ordinance that has been rewritten to bring the town into compliance with state statute was approved on a unanimous vote by the Town Council on Monday night.
Town Attorney Mike Ramsdell said there had been a couple of questions raised when the Council last considered the amendments.

“Since that time there have been two revisions that have been made,” he said. “The bottom line is that the only reservations that were brought up have been resolved, and I am confident that the revised ordinance that has been presented to the council will bring the town ordinance in line with state statutes.”
Town Council Chairman John Farrell asked Ramsdell about litigation brought against the town, as previously reported in the Londonderry Times.
“Could you please tell us where we stand on that?” Farrell asked.
“Recently there were claims that were made by some of the respondents to the case,” Ramsdell replied. “When we filed the case I believe there were as many as 50 respondents. Those were people that we knew had claims, we actually pled it, by we I mean the town of Londonderry. We resolved all claims by all the original respondents except one. There have been six or seven other entities that asked to intervene and we did not object, because frankly it was the council’s direction that we resolve the matter.”
Ramsdell said that now the respondents have put in claims that are broader in scope than anything he thinks the Superior Court is going to entertain.
“We have moved to dismiss this week, we have filed three motions to dismiss some of the claims that have been filed by the respondents,” he said. “We anticipate filing at least two more motions.”
Ramsdell said that unfortunately the court process takes time and the suits that have been brought are broad and far ranging. He added that for many, the statute of limitations has run out long ago.
He said some of the claims are styled as a class action suit instead of claims by the individual respondents.
“Simply put, the court should not consider them because these respondents had an opportunity both under the statute and under the ordinance to follow a process if they believed that the impact fees that they were assessed and paid were unfair or unlawful, and they did not do that at the time,” Ramsdell said.
“The Town of Londonderry is going to come out just fine in the whole thing,” he added.
Resident Fred Doucette said he was one of the homeowners whose impact fees were granted to him by the court in April, and to date he has not received his money back.
Ramsdell said Doucette’s issue is with the court, as all money has been paid by the town to the court for disbursement, and the town is not responsible for the money any longer.
Councilor Jim Butler asked if the vote was to approve the impact fees “when and if do they go into play.”
Ramsdell said the town could vote to approve the amendment but that implementation should as yet not take place.
Ramsdell also told the Council that the Londonderry Times article on the court case said calls to his office on the matter were not answered. He told the Council that was not true.
“I can tell you that simply is not true,” he told the Council. “I checked myself manually both the voicemail of my own phone, my direct line and my cell phone. I return telephone calls. I know how important that matter is to the Town Council and had I been asked any questions, I would have responded as I’m responding this evening.”
Reporter JHobson uses a landline, which does not record numbers called. He stands by his statement that he called Ramsdell on two occasions and left a message requesting a call back for the story in question. He said he heard Ramsdell’s voice on the machine.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter