Poultry Producers Gets Go Ahead From Planning Board

Poultry Products Northeast, which is seeking permission to build a distribution facility here in Londonderry, recently brought their case before the town Planning Board.

As the second of two agenda items at the board’s May 3 meeting, PPNE’s goal was to convince the board to approve the waivers and conditional use permits they needed for the build, as the land they wish to use happens to contain over thirty four thousand square feet of wetlands, some of which leads into the center of the property.

PPNE had already discussed the matter with the Londonderry Conservation Committee on April 25th. Several concerns were raised at that meeting, primarily over the damage to the wetlands and whether or not economic gains were the only objective of the build.  However, the Conservation Committee still approved a recommendation for the project, as PPNE not only sought to not use more land than deemed necessary and mitigate damage to the wetlands, but also would make a $168,000 donation to the state’s Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund.

The distribution facility itself will be built on a twenty six acre property at 31 Jack’s Bridge road.  It will hire roughly two hundred and thirty new employees across three different shifts and have one and two story tall facilities.  Most of the land will be used initially, with some land kept empty for a time until PPNE desires to expand the facility.  No live animals will be brought to the building, as its sole purpose is to package, prepare and deliver already butchered products.

At the Planning Board meeting, PPNE was represented by Hayner/Swanson Inc. President and Principal Engineer James Petropulos, who is responsible for the building of the facility, and Bill Conrad, Chief Operating Officer for PPNE.  Petropulos began the presentation by explaining what PPNE sought out of the subdivision and site plans and providing a background on what PPNE does. He noted that scheduling was altered around traffic patterns to avoid AM and PM peak hours and that the project, which he hoped to begin this summer, would take roughly nine months to complete.

Alongside six varying wavers, PPNE also sought two building permits: one for permission to drain and build on the wetlands and one requesting a reduction to the number of mandatory parking spaces needed for a facility.

Although the board saw no problem with the subdivision request, leading to them unanimously approving it, questions were raised about the site plan. For one, Board Member Giovanni Verani mentioned how landscaping of the area will leave those who view the property from the northern side with a view of a rather blunt wall of stone.  Although he did not see a way around the construction of the wall, Petropulos suggested planting trees in the northern section of the property to make the view more appealing.

Board Member Jim Butler was curious about the “fee” that PPNE would pay to the ARM fund, that being the $168,000, asking Petropulos “is there any way we can keep that fee in town and move it to the Conservation Commission so that it stays in town?”  Unfortunately, Petropulos stated that the fee would strictly stay with the state, although he did express his desire for the money to go to the town.

However, despite minor concerns over the build, the board none the less approved of all waivers and both permits PPNE requested unanimously.

After the meeting, Conrad noted that “We’re excited to join Londonderry and become a great neighbor.”

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