Planning Board Gets Master Plan Committee Update

Planning Board member Chris Davies, who is also chairman of the Master Plan Implementation Committee, reviewed discussions of the Town Forest and Town Common last week.

Davies told the board at its Wednesday, June 11 meeting that in the committee’s most recent meeting, there was a “fairly significant discussion” about the Town Common and Town Forest, as previously reported in the Londonderry Times. He said a miscommunication led to not televising the meeting.

Davies said the discussion centered around what to do with the Town Forest. He said Town Manager Kevin Smith asked the committee its recommendation, and member Ann Chiampa suggested making it more accessible with a hiking path.

“It’s a resource that should be accessible, and discussions are going on with some of the other boards and Trailways around what could be done there to improve that area,” Davies said.

Board member Maria Newman said that one thing a lot of people would like to see would be an ice skating rink that would be visible from the road. “It makes a lot of sense, especially where we live in New England,” Newman said.

Davies said that idea was discussed and noted that several years ago, in talks about what to do with the Town Common, a plan for a temporary skating rink in that area or adjacent to it was suggested.

Board member Al Sypek asked if there were any solutions to the parking problem.

“No solutions, but there was going to be a need to have solutions,” Davies said. “It’s pretty pointless to have nice, accessible improvements to the Town Forest and not have anywhere for people to park.”

“Old Home Day is a prime example of traffic congestion,” chairman Art Rugg said.

Davies said they weren’t going to be able to solve the Old Home Day parking issue, but acknowledged a need to improve parking for normal daily use of the Town Forest and Town Common.

“There was a plan for an improved parking but there was an issue with line of sight,” Davies said.

Davies added that Comprehensive Planner John Vogl had put together a spreadsheet with a list of recommendations for the implementation committee, with the committee looking at how to measure the recommendations’ achievement.

“By far and away the most significant recommendations are impacted by what’s going to come out of the zoning audit and subsequently the changes that might get made when staff and the consultants work on retooling the zoning regulations, “ he said. Davies said that work would have a “significant impact” on a lot of items in the Master Plan to make them achievable.

Davies added the committee is looking to the Planning Board to enable the Master Plan.

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