By Kaitlin Bedell
The Planning Board came together on their July 14 meeting to discuss the possible regulation changes for mandatory water utility hookups in future developments and subdivisions.
The conversation took place during a workshop discussion where Town Planner Colleen Mailloux explained the possible language changes that would be made in terms of how future projects in the town of Londonderry would design water utility.
Mailloux said that the new regulations would detail a requirement for all designs to contain a water hookup unless “technically infeasible.”
Under these requirements, if there is something within the land that makes it impossible for the water hookup to take place, the regulations would allow for a special exception which would not require a formal waiver from the Planning Board.
“I don’t want to go into a requirement where we are going to have to grant a ton of waivers,” Mailloux said. “I want to make sure its something that the board is comfortable with.”
Mailloux said that this does not include any projects that could physically connect but are asking not to because of “difficult” factors such as cost. These situations would still need to be brought before the Planning Board and would still need to request a special exception.
Ex-Officio Deb Paul said that she was concerned with some of the wording that Mailloux was describing for the new regulations.
“I don’t want to use these warm and fuzzy words like ‘reasonable’,” Paul said. “To me we need to clearly define what is reasonable.”
Mailloux further explained some of the language which Paul was referring to and said that it was more clearly defined in the criteria.
Another concern which Paul said she had with the mandatory hookups under these new regulations was the possibility of the sewer systems leaching and failing as people are putting in septic systems which could contaminate all of the water.
Ex-Officio Giovanni Verani also brought up a question regarding the new regulations and asked Mailloux if they would apply to already existing residential buildings.
Mailloux said that this would only be required of new developments. Individuals who are hoping to subdivide or build new structures on their residential properties would also need to abide by these regulations or request a waiver from the Planning Board.
Those who live in residential buildings who are putting in a garage or an extension would not be required to change their water utility systems.
The Planning Board decided to continue to discuss the sewer system language in the new requirements in August and are aiming to have a public hearing on it in September.
Mailloux said that the Planning Board would be the only Board to review these new guidelines and that they will be the only ones responsible for its adoption.
The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled to take place on August 4 at 7:00 pm. Those who wish to attend can do so virtually by visiting the link on the town cablecast network or they can attend the meeting live in the Moose Hill Conference Room.