Planning Board Sets Direction for Master Plan Committee

The Master Plan Implementation Committee has a new charter and new members.

Town Planner Colleen Mailloux and John Vogl, Geographic Information System (GIS) manager and comprehensive planner, brought the news to the Planning Board at its Wednesday, June 8 meeting.

During its last several meetings, the Planning Board acted to update the charter and mission of the Committee, which was described as in need of direction from the Planning Board.

“Given the (Master) Plan’s emphasis on walkability and connectivity, and the seeming desirability of bicycle/pedestrian projects and trails in Londonderry, this is an appropriate subject matter for the Committee to review.” Vogl said.

The mission might be to identify local opportunities and/or challenges with implementing plan recommendations, in addition to the core task of monitoring and reporting on overall Plan implementation. As such, specific tasks for the Committee can include:

• Review and examine issues surrounding walkability and neighborhood connections;

• Review and examine the Complete Streets programs with an analysis of the needs of the Town and identify possible funding sources.

• Review tools and options for the expansion of sidewalks, trails or other neighborhood connections.

• Continue the coordination of tracking implementation activities with a focus on trails, and an examination of opportunities that exist for the Town, such as possible funding sources and grant money.

Vogl introduced Kyle Durso, who told the board he is an engineer and since he has decided to settle in Londonderry, he wanted to become involved and thought the Master Plan Implementation Committee would be a suitable place to start.

The Planning Board itself has an opening for an alternate, and after a brief discussion, decided he could hold a seat on both committees without any conflict of interest.

The Board voted to appoint Durso to the Master Plan Implementation Committee and encouraged him to send an email requesting appointment as an alternate to the Planning Board if he were interested in doing both.

In other business:

• In a public hearing, Vogl reviewed proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance Amendments and Proposed Site Plan Amendments related to Parking and Loading Standards.

The Town seeks to amend the Zoning Ordinance to relocate parking and loading standards to Site Plan Regulations. The Town also seeks to amend the Site Plan Regulations to include the parking and loading standards that are currently in the Zoning Ordinance. Amendments, which include renaming/renumbering sections and inserting updated content from the zoning ordinance, are proposed in the following sections: 3.08 Streets/ Driveways, 3.09 Landscaping Design Standards, 3.10 Soil & Wetland Identification and Parking Lot Design Standards.

The full text of the proposed amendments can be found on the Town’s web page at and is available for viewing in the Town Clerk’s Office, Planning and Economic Development Department, and Leach Library during regular business hours.

Only the final changes and corrections were reviewed, as the board had done a line by line review previously.

Vogl said the changes are ready for adoption and recommendation to the Town Council. He asked the board to first adopt the Proposed Zoning Ordinance Parking and Loading changes and then approve adoption of the Proposed Site Plan Amendments related to Parking and Loading. The board did so, with the changes to become effective upon Town Council adoption.

• Vogl discussed proposed amendments to the Site Plan Regulations, noting these have several objectives. The first is to codify current Planning Board processes and actions through amendments or additions to the land use regulations not covered at this time. The second is to update the regulations in response to changes in state statutes, and the third is to revamp the regulatory process to be more equitable, predictable and flexible in order to enable desirable community and economic development in concert with the Master Plan.

“The amendments also propose to modify requirements and associated application checklists from the current ‘one size fits all’ format to better accommodate the scale of individual development projects,” he said. “Every regulation update considered how that provision impacted the ‘public good’ in determining whether or not it should be deleted, amended or included.”

• The board briefly discussed the status of the proposed 600-plus-acre Woodmont Commons development and learned that its next filing is not likely to happen before fall.

• A concept design review for a proposed 22-unit elderly housing development at 7 Litchfield Road was withdrawn at the request of the applicant.

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