With Woodmont Commons decisions, Londonderry has its watershed moment
The Planning Board on Wednesday night gave conditional approval to the master plan for Woodmont Commons after signing off on a number of requested waivers, including an exemption of permit requirements for “excavations and renovations” and exemption from “landscape and design standards.”
Also approved were waivers for setback limits and other existing subdivision regulations as the board agreed “such is consistent with the intent and purposes of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) master plan.”
“They’ll still have to go through the board’s approval process in about the same manner as any conventional application,” May said. “The only difference here is that each (site plan) will be reviewed based on the standards and regulations in the Woodmont Commons PUD master plan (as opposed to general town zoning codes).”
“This is a historic moment,” Chairman Arthur Rugg said.
Developer Michael Kettenbach said the process “set a precedent not only for Londonderry but for the state as well.”
“This is going to be something the community will be proud of,” Kettenbach said. “We’ll be seeing you soon.”
Former Town Councilor Mike Brown said he felt the plans should be subject to Londonderry’s growth management ordinance, which would require an ordinance reenactment on the town’s behalf.
Martin Srugis agreed. “We’re talking a 20-year project,” he said. “So I’d just like to see the town keep a finger on the phasing.”
“There will be plenty of opportunities to make these decisions when each site plan comes in,” Soares said. “So, in fact, we’re not letting go of phasing at all, as (the developers) are prevented from overbuilding at any particular time.”
“I’m thinking we’ll see a lot of people cutting through our parking lot to avoid the light,” Hatem said. “We fear our property may become a convenient through-way.”
The Stocks added that “20 years of construction vehicles and construction dirt” would be an ongoing nuisance to abutters.
Resident Mary Tetreau, who organized the Save Woodmont Apple Trees rally last month, grew emotional as she read her poem “I Love the Apple Trees in Winter,” which she dedicated to developer Michael Kettenbach.
Kettenbach approached Tetreau following her speech and applauded her input. He urged her to contact him personally should further concerns arise.
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