By Alex Malm
At the Nov. 17 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting one of the cases that the Board heard was in regards to the property at 22 Young Road.
The variances were to eliminate the use requirement that at least 75% of single family and two family dwellings shall be restricted housing for older persons in the multi-family residential zone and to allow 55 residential 3 bedroom units where only 35 are permitted.
The property is owned by the Edgar L. Pitts and Winnifred L. Pitts Revocable Trust and Cedar Crest Development is the developer for the proposed project.
John Cronin who was representing the developer at the meeting explained that the two properties were recently rezoned to allow the units to be built with the agreement that they wouldn’t build high density apartments there.
The Planning Board and the Town Council approved the rezoning.
He said that they received feedback from people in Londonderry that they have an abundance of housing designated for the older population and is why they are looking to get a variance to build modest homes which is what they feel the market is calling for.
One question that was asked was in regards to the size of the lots.
Adam Orso, the co-owner of Cedar Crest Development said that they would have a Home Owners Association there meaning that the homes would all be on common land, and they would take care of the road maintenance.
He also explained that they have had significant soil testing done which is what they based the number of bedrooms they would be able to build on the property. Those results weren’t submitted to the Board at the meeting.
Orso said while they will have public water and while they tried to have public sewers they weren’t able to, meaning that they will have septic.
Town Councilor Deb Paul, who serves as the Town Council Liaison for the Zoning Board said that she was the only Councilor who voted against the zoning change on the Town Council.
One of the concerns that she has is the fact that there is a pipeline that is going right through the property and said that it’s not advised to do blasting near one.
“Blasting near a pipeline is never really a good idea,” she said.
She also noted that there are a lot of substantial wetlands there which will be impacted by the project.
“That concerns me because there are no sewers,” Paul said, saying that there could be leaching in a well which could cause more water contamination in a town that already has a significant water contamination problem.
Paul said that before they make a decision they should have the actual results from their land testing.
“When you approve something without all the evidence in front of you, you could be making a decision that is incorrect,” she said.
She also said that the Fire Department is concerned with the amount of traffic in town already saying that they should be able to respond to a call in five minutes in order to save someone and because of the amount of people and traffic they have it is now taking them about seven minutes on average.
Paul said that the additional cars from the development are going to be coming out near the fire station on 102 which could impact them responding to an emergency situation.
She also said that right now there isn’t anything set in stone for the project which she felt was problematic.
“Every handshake deal that we have had in this town of Londonderry has never worked out for the Town,” Paul said.
Ray Breslin spoke against the application saying that they need more information before they can make a decision.
“Before you make a decision on this we need to know what kind of soil is out there because these are going to be on septic systems,” Breslin said. “We’re dealing with a problem with contaminated water and dealing with sewerage problems in this town.”
“I think we need to look at this very closely before we make a judgement on this,” he added.
Cronin said that they have to meet the state standards for the septic system in order for it to be approved.
He also explained that when they go to the Planning Board they will be seeking input from the Fire Chief and the Police Chief and if they don’t agree with the application then it won’t get approved.
The Board ultimately decided that in order to continue with the case they wanted the information they have for wetlands for soil testing to see what it is and who did it.
It was agreed to continue the case to the Dec.15 meeting.