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Workforce housing development proposal returns to Londonderry Planning Board


LONDONDERRY — A proposal for a 240-apartment, workforce-housing complex on Perkins Road returns before the Planning Board Wednesday.

The latest incarnation of the Wallace Farm project went before the board in May. Last month, property owner Tom Monahan and his attorney, Thomas Jay Leonard, requested a consolidation of lots at 48 and 62 Perkins Road, as well as several site waivers.

The workforce housing project was initially proposed to the board last year, when town officials told Wallace they’d like to see the apartment buildings set further back on the property.

Located on the property, the historic Wallace farmhouse was offered to the town earlier this year, but the heritage commission declined the offer because of the structure’s poor condition.

Monahan said a historic plaque sharing the site’s agricultural history would be placed in the proposed clubhouse instead.

Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said he was pleased to learn the clubhouse would be built to resemble the farmhouse.

Leonard noted that the hope is to add elderly housing townhouses in the site sometime in the future, but “it would be on a much smaller scale.”

Monahan said the complex would be built with a single curb cut onto Perkins Road, rather than individual driveways, which town officials had feared would result in traffic safety concerns.

Once built, rents for the apartments would be in the “affordable” realm, intended to serve as a housing option for those within 60 percent of the area’s median, three-family household in the area.

Twenty—five units will be rented at market rate, Leonard said, noting those apartments would appear identical to the “workforce” apartments.

As of last month, project officials had obtained clearance for electricity and gas, but were still in the process of determining water and sewer plans.

Project plans also entail a possible redesign of the Perkins Road/Route 28 intersection that would prevent left turns from Perkins onto Route 28.

Town officials noted that the state Department of Transportation had requested the new intersection because of the fact that numerous accidents have already resulted from attempted left turns from the same spot.

The May public hearing was ultimately continued to June 11, allowing project officials a bit more time to address fire, safety, sewer and other concerns from the town.

Plans for a separate workforce housing project on Mammoth Road are currently in conceptual stages.

Officials from NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire have their sights set on 30 Mammoth Road, where they’re developing a plan to build six, seven-unit townhouse buildings, according to Town Planner Cynthia May.

The town’s Housing Task Force group issued a report on Londonderry’s housing shortfalls in spring 2008, and the Londonderry inclusionary housing ordinance was passed two years later.

The Perkins Road site was among several site’s listed as potential project locations, based on its location and accessibility to public utilities.

The Londonderry Planning Board will meet Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m.

aguilmet@newstote.com

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