New 55+ Development Goes Before Conservation Commission

Jessica McNeill of The Dubay Group, representing DFC Development of Windham, presented a proposed development called The Meadows of Londonderry.  To be located at 48 Old Nashua Road, the development on just over 16 acres would consist of 44 two-bedroom, single family detached homes for 55+ residents.

McNeill shared that the housing density allowed per town regulations could be 116 units, but only 44 will be built. She also said that there would be 5.63 acres of usable open space which is 128% of what is required by town rules for this type of development. In addition, none of the houses would encroach required wetland buffers.

McNeill explained, however, that some disturbance of the 50-foot wetland buffers would be required to properly install outfall pipes in the three detention ponds.  The developer planned to apply for a Conditional Use Permit to request this permission from the Planning Board.

Member Gene Harrington pointed out that a few of the planned houses are very close to the wetland buffers around one of the ponds. He was concerned that residents would not have a clear idea of where the buffer started and so might end up extending their lawns into it.  Then chemicals used to maintain the lawns could end up in the buffer. He requested that there be clear delineation between lawns and the natural area that buffers the pond.

Member Deb Lievens reviewed the list of proposed plants in the landscape plan and encouraged the developer to use more native trees and plants.

The plans also call for a stone dust walking path, forming a loop around a common lawn area. Member Mike Noone pointed out that parts of the path and lawn area are within the 50-foot wetland buffer surrounding the largest pond at the site. While the path is allowed in the buffer, landscaped turf is not.

Noone suggested reshaping or moving the path so that the common lawn area will not be in the buffer. Failing that, only the part of the lawn area outside the buffer could be maintained as turf and wetland buffer signs would need to be placed in the common area to mark the edge of the buffer.

In other business, the Commission reviewed a state wetland permit application filed by the Town of Londonderry related to extension of sewer lines in the area of Woodland Village Condominiums, Orchard View Drive and Winding Pond Road. While there were minor wetland impacts, the Commission felt that the plan had chosen the best possible path to minimize such impacts.

There was a brief discussion about the trail maps that the Commission has been distributing at the Musquash Conservation Area trailheads.  Members noted that the most maps are being taken at the Hickory Hill and Faucher Road trailheads indicating that they are the most heavily used entrances.

The Commission received the formal Design Review Committee (DRC) plan for phase 2 of the over 55 Cross Farm project after having provided input on earlier draft site plans. With the final plan totaling 144 pages and having previously provided feedback, the Commission opted to defer providing feedback until the developer could provide them with a list of changes between the draft and final site plan.

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