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March 04. 2013 10:38PM

Derry planning Board takes up mixed-use development

DERRY - Between its regular workload of plan reviews and workshop meetings on potential sign regulation changes and changes to the zoning along Rockingham Road, the Planning Board has had a full plate over the last several months.

In the fall, the Planning Board first looked at the possibility of discussing mixed-used overlays in conjunction with the zoning changes along Rockingham Road.

There are several larger parcels of land among the lots along Rockingham Road to which the town is extending public water and sewer.

During the discussions over retooling the general commission zone in anticipation of increasing economic development in that part of the town, the Planning Board has looked at limiting residential development in the zone.

However, a mixed-use overlay would allow residential development tied into commercial or retail development projects.

Over the past several months, the town's planning office has begun putting together information on what other mixed-used developments look like in New Hampshire and across the state.

"Mixed-use development runs the gamut from large cities to small towns to huge developments like you see in Florida or Arizona," said George Sioras, town planning director.

With a number of plans coming before the Planning Board in March and April, Sioras suggested the board hold a workshop meeting on mixed-used development later in the spring.

"We've got some good stuff to review for the Planning Board," said Sioras. "There are a number of businesses that are ready to go."

Board chairman David Granese suggested scheduling the workshop meeting for June 5.

"This will give us time to review all this and see what we want to do," said Granese.

At past Planning Board meetings, Town Administrator John Anderson has noted that the mixed-used overlay district discussion does not have to be limited to the general commercial district along Rockingham Road.

"We can pick and choose where we want to have a mixed-used overlay zone," he said. "It doesn't have to be just in this zone."


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