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Woodmont neighbors seek answers

LONDONDERRY - As the public hearing process for the Woodmont Commons project inches forward, the voices of neighbors eager to have their questions answered are getting louder.

During the most recent Woodmont Commons public hearing on April 10, resident Ray Adams noted that citizens and town officials alike had asked project officials about drainage, traffic patterns and other topics ultimately pushed forward to the May 8 public hearing.

"Frankly, the answers we've gotten so far have been less than stellar," Adams said on Thursday. "And based on past issues that have come up, I'm truly concerned about the potential impact of this project."

Adams noted his belief that the problems "don't necessarily rest with Planning Board."

"I think they're handcuffed right now," Adams said. "They keep asking questions and they're not getting any answers."

Public hearings on the 600-acre town village project have been taking place each month.

The project, which would represent the town's first time working with its Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance, is being proposed for construction on former orchard lands near Interstate 93 and Route 102, In a letter sent to Town Council Chairman John Farrell this week, resident Jack Falvey expressed concerns about the town's "implementation of the PUD ordinance in regard to the Woodmont development."

In January 2012, Falvey submitted a petition signed by 175 citizens protesting the project.

"It has not been apparent that much of a positive nature has resulted (since then), and in fact, things have deteriorated considerably in the past year and a half," Falvey said.

Falvey said project plans have been tweaked to include additional dwelling units and increased density - of particular concern, he added, are the most recent estimates from Woodmont Commons' traffic engineers.

At a February hearing, TEC Engineering's Kevin Dandrade said the majority of the project's housing, as well as retail and shopping areas, are planned for the site's western side.

A daily maximum of 34,000 vehicles could pass through the western section, and 27,000 through the eastern section, he said.

Earlier this month, attorney Ari Pollack, who represents Woodmont Commons developer Mike Kettenbach and members of the development team, shared project updates.

During a discussion on the topic of water and sewage treatment, project engineer Jimmy D'Angelo said it is looking likely the project will need to utilize the nearby Derry Water Sewage treatment plant. Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said the town has been in contact with George Sirois, Derry's planning and community development director, in regard to a possible inter-municipal agreement.

Pollack said the project's fiscal impacts, the final set of development standards and a proposed development agreement and further infrastructure details would be discussed publicly next month.

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