By Paul Conyers
The Londonderry Planning Board opened a public hearing for a water tank located at 7 Gordon Drive at their Dec. 7 meeting. The project has already been in front of the Heritage and Conservation Commissions.
The proposal was for a 6,709 square-foot water tank with a transmission water main to be put between Gordon Drive and Marketplace Drive. Trevor Yandow of Meridian Land Services was at the meeting with Mark Filion of Pennichuck Water to make the presentation.
“The tank is 35 feet in height, and the diameter is just under 93 feet,” outlined Yandow. “The site will be enclosed in a perimeter fence, and it will be gated.”
Their plan also included a small runoff area for the treatment of runoff and a few waivers regarding the right of way for the site.
“The transmission main exits in the southwest part of the tank and crosses Spring Road,” said Yandow, describing the piping to the tank. “There are some existing wetland areas we’re working around. There’s no feasible way to access the site without coming through some wetlands.”
He hopes to minimize the wetland impact through precise drilling for the water lines. The lot will also serve as a booster station.
The original plan was for a 156-foot water tower in the area, although this was later revised to a shorter tank out of aesthetic concerns.
“Our water system needs storage,” added Filion as he summarized the importance of a new water tank. He also emphasized the importance of redundancy in the town water system. They claimed it could provide Londonderry residents with water in case of a mainline break while improving water pressure.
The Planning Board quickly accepted the application as complete without debate, before opening the matter to discussion.
“Are you familiar with the tanks on Josephine Drive, and would these be of similar construction size and capacity?” asked Board Member, Bruce Hallowell. Presenters confirmed that the Gordon Drive should look similar with a capacity large enough to compensate for a potential water shortage.
Board Member, Giovanni Verani, recommended making some visual changes to the project, allowing it to fit into the surrounding area. “My biggest concern is how does this impact abutter’s land. You should load it up with trees and minimize the impact on the neighbors.”
Although the plan currently only shows five trees, presenters were open to more extensive landscaping, while changing the coloring to an earth tone. They also promised the water tank would not produce noise.
Abutters, Rachel and Michael Lessard, were at the meeting to chime in on the plan to add foliage. “The trees in that area are all falling over, it’s not as dense as it used to be,” said Racheal. “I just don’t want to be looking at a water tank,” added Michael. Similar concerns were expressed by other abutters, with some frustration from those on Gordon Drive.
The Planning Board unanimously voted to grant a conditional use permit for the Gordon Drive water project.