June 26. 2014 9:50PM

Goffstown EDC gearing up for business

Union Leader Correspondent

GOFFSTOWN — The Economic Development Council wants to work with the planning board in adopting a certified sites program.

The ReadySetGo! Certified Sites program, developed and administered by the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, helps companies get OK’s beyond the typical one-year approval period and helps market the site to potential users on the local, regional, state and national level, said Assistant Town Administrator Derek Horne.

The Economic Development Council asked the planning board to consider adopting an amendment to development regulations to implement the program.

“There’s a lot of competition amongst towns for economic development, and we think this is a tool that will help us and help get is on the map,” said Stephen Langley, chairman of the Economic Development Council.

Horne said the program would be available to lots of one acre or more located in industrial, commercial, commercial industrial flex zone, village commercial or designated Economic Revitalization Tax Credit Zones. He estimated about 138 or more qualifying sites exist in the commercial zone.

The program does not change zoning or allowable uses, Horne said. Projects on those still require site plan review.

Windham and Raymond have developed certified sites regulations, Horne said, while Manchester and Londonderry are actively pursuing a program. Bedford is drafting a proposal for presentation in the fall, he said.Chairman Barbara Griffin was concerned that one-acre lots were small for an extended approval program.

Planning board member Tim Redmond, also a member of the EDC, said the draft regulation gives the planning board full discretion to decide which site would be approved and for what length of time. The program allows a land owner to do the preliminary work so a site may be ready if an opportunity arises from an out-of-state user, he said.The planning board will schedule a workshop to consider the regulation amendment.