Town Manager Seeks Board’s Approval for Land Purchase

As Cross Farm Development LLC continues its work to produce a 200-unit elderly housing community along 57 Adams Road, the town of Londonderry continues its efforts to lessen the project’s impact on local traffic.

During the June 7 Planning Board meeting at the town hall, Town Manager Kevin Smith went before the board with hopes of receiving a recommendation for the purchase and resale of a small patch of land outside of Cross Farm’s future building site.

Smith sought this recommendation because according to current construction plans, the housing community will only have one entrance and one exit on Adams Road. The town is hoping to purchase a 2.8-acres patch of land in between Cross Farm’s property and Route 102, which is currently owned by the Department of Transportation. Cross Farm and the town had previously come to agreement that if the town purchased the patch of land for $360,000, Cross Farm would immediately purchase the land from the town for the same price and convert the land into a road connecting to 102, as well as cover any costs concerning survey plans and construction. Smith stated that this was the best option since the land would eventually go to public auction if it was not purchased, giving Cross Farm a lesser chance at gaining the property.

Since the Conservation Commission had given Smith its recommendation weeks earlier, it was now the Planning Board’s turn to ask questions concerning the agreement.

Alternative member Ann Chiampa expressed several concerns including the speed limit along 102, which is 55 miles per hour. Chiampa, worried about the safety of elderly residents, asked whether or not the agreement would grant final approval for the project. Smith noted that it would not.

Secretary Chris Davies wondered if there would be any regulatory issues during the purchasing process, to which Smith noted that the town attorney had already assured him that no such issues would arise.

Finally, Town Council member Jim Butler suggested that Cross Farm be careful about their decision to procure the first entrance onto Adams Road, explaining that one onto Cross Road would be a better option. Members of the board reminded Butler that such issues should be addressed in the future when a site plan goes up for discussion, as the design for the property is not yet finalized.

With every board member having been given the chance to speak, all members unanimously approved the recommendation. The agreement will be discussed during the next two upcoming public hearings, the first occurring on June 19 and the second occurring no more than two weeks afterwards.

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