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Bit by bit, Woodmont process rolls along

Union Leader Correspondent

March 29. 2013 1:27AM

LONDONDERRY - Following yet another presentation before the Planning Board Wednesday night, the latest public hearing on the controversial Woodmont Commons project was continued to next month.

This week's continuance marks the second delay this month for the public hearing on the lofty, 600-acre town village project being proposed for construction on former orchard lands near Interstate 93 and Route 102.

The hearing was initially scheduled for earlier this month.

Planning Board member Art Rugg said further hearing continuances would be tough to avoid, since each hearing and workshop raises further questions from citizens, questions that often can't be readily answered.

"We've been continuing the Woodmont public hearings because each time when new information is presented, (the development team) provides updates on comments received at the previous session," Rugg said on Thursday. "So for the near term, we will continue the hearings until the Planning Board is ready to make a decision on the Woodmont master plan."

Asked just how long the process might take, Rugg admitted that "it might take awhile."

"We're more towards the beginning of the process than the end," he said. "I don't know and actually no one knows how long this will take. We will take as long as needed to do this properly."

During this week's meeting, project planner and architect Tom Goodwin, joined by attorney Ari Pollack, who represents the project's developers, gave a briefing of the proposed Planned Unit Development (PUD) master plan and suggested subdivision and site plan process.

Pollack said the latest version of the document represents "a refined approach to maximum development and allocation of uses aligned with the master traffic impact assessment."

By doing so, project officials said, the idea is to allow themselves the flexibility to shift or increase permitted uses and development volumes among some of the site's sub-areas, while lowering housing densities along the site's border areas.

The documents may be viewed in their entirety online via the planning department page on the town website at

A continued public hearing will take place during the April 10 Planning Board meeting, which will start at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Londonderry Town Hall.

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