LONDONDERRY — The Londonderry Planning Board is considering changes to its signature policy to make the process more business-friendly.
Under the new policy, which will return before the board this week, the board chairman or secretary would be able to sign a plan at any time once the staff determines approval conditions have been met, rather than waiting until a meeting is in session.
The Planning Board will debate the matter during Wednesday’s meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Town Hall.
Town Planner Cynthia May said similar policies are used in dozens of other Granite State communities. May suggested Londonderry adopt a procedure where at the time of conditional approval, town staff would give a recommendation to the board on whether to grant final approval once conditions have been met.
“This would preclude the plan from having to return before the board one more time,” May said.
She said that this would enable developers to get started on projects sooner without any “unnecessary holdup for what is essentially a formality.”
“This would also eliminate the need for the board to hold special meetings when an applicant is seeking to begin a project, but for various reasons doesn’t want to wait what can be weeks before another regular meeting is held,” May said.
Town officials stressed that the board would still have the option of asking developers to return before them for an additional vote in instances where a proposed plan leaves them with unaddressed questions or concerns.
Planning Board members other than the chairman or secretary could also be designated by those officers to sign plans in their absence. May said that signing could take place during normal business hours in the town’s Planning Office instead of during a meeting.
During initial discussions, board members praised the concept, and a draft of the policy’s wording was presented at the June 11 meeting.
Board Chairman Arthur Rugg said the document was being reviewed by the town’s attorney prior to this week’s workshop, with a public hearing to follow.