Woodmont Commons: What Came First, Chicken or Egg?

How Woodmont came to be required enabling legislation. The citizens were not told the true purpose of the PUD! No matter how involved you might be as a taxpayer, if there are secret or restricted meetings you can’t make informed comments. The fix is in? (Could have been!)

When did Londonderry town officials know about the Woodmont Orchards deal? Election 2010- Londonderry Town Council Race Town Council Candidates forum- March 6, 2010 “Spending & Quality of life how it relates to open space”

When? Two years before this March 6, 2010 meeting, according to Mr. Farrell. In 2008! So…was the development of the PUD Ordinance in any way shaped or affected by this parcel or it’s owner? Was the PUD Ordinance designed to accommodate Woodmont Commons?

Good question.

A little over two weeks passed between the passage of the PUD ordinance (1/04/10) and the “official” purchase of Woodmont Orchards (1/20/10).

Then the question to ask is: Were town employees or elected officials privy to the prospective Woodmont Commons deal before the PUD ordinance was passed, and if so, was the PUD ordinance shaped or affected in any way by the prospective deal or it’s representatives for its benefit?

Video of first TC PUD

Video of second TC PUD

The discussion starts about 18 minutes into the video.

No comment.

Interesting! Did the chicken or egg come first? In any event it sounds like something other than the chicken was in the hen house.

The Londonderry Times article 11/10/11 listed the developer as Pillsbury Reality Trust represented by Ari B. Pollack president of Callahan and Gartrell of Concord and John Michaels.

It is my opinion that since Att. Micheals is, or was, the counsel for the original buyers, it would be ridiculous for him and a gigantic conflict of interest to have him involved in the consulting process to any degree. Taxpayer or not! Independent third party who has no vested interest is the only way – but certainly a firm that has the expertise in this area of law.

Click Read More at the end of the bio to see more comments, like other stories by Jack his “Et. Al.” is composed of his statement with responses from others he communicates with on the topic in block quotes.

“Jack Falvey Et al:” provides a hometown analysis of Woodmont Commons. Since attending the design charrette offered by the developers of the project Jack has been asking questions, you too have been asking questions, many to Jack himself. He has provided thoughtful analysis from his point of view and shared it back to the questioner and a growing list of Londonderry residents wanting of more information.

As they become available we will provide these questions to our readers and the search engines. We hope to provide a broader view of the project through the eyes of someone that came to town in the 1960′s. Jack raised a family here, volunteered in local government and founded his company “Making the Numbers” after a career at Gillette. As a motivational speaker and a prolific writer with major media outlets his views on the project may take you by surprise!

Read More for additional conversations in Jack Falvey’s communication with others in Londonderry.

We have some extraordinary people living in Londonderry. They work for us tirelessly. Many are not on the town payroll nor are they elected or appointed officials although many are. Please read the comments sent in below. This will take a while, but consider the effort of the dedicated citizen that dug all this out for us. Read it in appreciation of their effort. (I did!)

Jack, Two points

First, I attended the Council meetings and most of the PUD meetings. To my recolection there was never any mention of Woodmont, only how the PUD would benefit North Londnderry. Now all we are hearing is ‘everyone’ knew about Woodmont, Why didn’t they say anything ehen the PUD was being written?

Second, This meeting thing keeps coming up over and over again. Why not ask the group that was rumored to be there? Below is a an old blog conversation from January 21, 2011 concerning Town Council attendance at an ‘informational meeting’.

Glenn Douglas

email to town councilors

During the Town Council Candidates forum John Farrell stated that he met with the new developers of the Woodmont property. Since then Councilor Wagner has stated that the Town Council was also aware of the meeting.

I’d like to know when this meeting took place and what members of Town staff attended. Did members of the Council also participate?

Best Regards,
Glenn Douglas

response from town council

Glenn: As chair, I will respond on behalf of the Council as is customary. After speaking with the Town Manager, it is my understanding that the meeting you are referring to was solicited by the developers themselves. I do not know the date of the meeting, nor do I have that information. One member of the Council attended the meeting which was of an informational nature only. Per the Town Manager, it’s my understanding that there was no staff at this particular meeting. If you should have any further specific questions about this subject, I would suggest you contact the Town Manager.

Mike Brown

Blog comment: I don’t have a problem with the Woodmont Developer. He can build what he wants as long as it fits withing the towns zoning ordinances. Now the select group of town leaders who met with the developer and to date still refuse to say who was in attendance that’s a different story.

Blog comment: “…the select group of town leaders who met with the developer and to date still refuse to say who was in attendance that’s a different story”. If memory serves that would be Kathy Wagner, Steve Young, Ron Campo, John Farrel and Art Rugg.

A lot seemed to be going on that few knew about.

Jack, I watched the video and read the 12-21-09 and 1-4-10 planning board meeting notes. One comment said in the first meeting made me sit back in my chair.

“Art Rugg, Planning Board Chair said the Planning Board is looking at getting away from the strict lines of different zoning. The rigidity is giving us the sprawl problem they are looking for a campus type of atmosphere.”

“Sprawl” was the same word used at the Woodmont Orchard charete in September 2010 to criticize Londonderry. He kept saying we were urban sprawl. I didn’t know we were considered sprawl by the planning board. I think we have a nice thing going for us here in Londonderry with our open space, room for kids to play, and fresh air.And who is the “they” in that same line?

Your email said: “…the select group of town leaders who met with the developer and to date still refuse to say who was in attendance that’s a different story”. If memory serves that would be Kathy Wagner, Steve Young, Ron Campo, John Farrel and Art Rugg.

Now it all makes sense. During those meetings the planning board knew what was coming down the pike. Jack, who wrote the PUD ordnance? Any of those select group of town leaders?

This question, a great one, is above my pay grade. We need a legal opinion.

Jack: After reading over the minutes of the 12/21/09 and 1/4/10 meetings I have a question about the legality of the two meetings. Kathy Wagner recused herself from both meetings, yet she seconded the vote to continue the 12/21 meeting and she seconded the approval of the PUD in the 1/4 meeting. Since she recused herself, she should have not participated by seconding motions. This is something to be reviewed. By these actions, especially about the approval of the PUD, does this void the approval by the council since she participated after recusal? Let me know your opinion. Thanks.

I’ve been out of town for a few days so if I missed putting up your content and comments we can blame it on hotel and Acela wifi or lack there of!

This is starting to reek of corruption – If we have any attorneys in our group, I’m wondering what their thoughts might be…

This is a comment that should be considered. I’m not into conspiracy theory, but I can buy into less than smart!

Corruption in Londonderry! My, My . Maybe some of those black dots are connected? I don’t think we need an attorney, I think it might take an “exorcist “or maybe a witch doctor to solve this one. Ok, it might take all three!

Good call!




29 Responses

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Dolan

    While not a member of the Town Council in the video clips above, I am familiar with the 5 members from that Council. My political beliefs vary (in some cases considerably) from some of those members. But having said that, I don’t believe that any of these 5 individuals are of such a character to engage in something as sinister as suggested above. I understand that much of the content above is written/suggested by others, and you just collect and report on it, but the cloud created by this conspiracy theory suggestion of corruption is in my opinion unfounded.

    There is no motive nor any hard evidence that those 5 councilors engaged in any illegal/inappropriate behavior. By suggesting it, or having others suggest it, doesn’t make it true. It becomes an assault on their personal character simply through inuendo.

    Disagreeing with local government decisions is a healthy community trait and is often what gives rise to fresh new candidates for office stepping forward. When citizens are moved to get involved and work to shape their community through their involvement, then that’s a good thing. But when artificial inuendo clouds are created, it makes everyone feel uncomfortable with those that represent them and adds to a growing cynicism regarding our democratic processes.

    Why will the community volunteers of tomorrow want to serve in such a (rumored to be) polluted environment? Potential candidates may feel a need to reflect on this question: “Why bother?” That would NOT be a good thing.

    I suggest that if anyone truly believes an unethical, corrupt, or illegal act has been commited (by anyone involved; Town Council or otherwise) then they should privately meet with the Town Manager and initiate an investigation under local/state law for such matters. Let’s clear the air, put an end to this part of the debate, and focus on making Woodmont what we as a community want it to become.

    1. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Long time resident

      You mean nothing sinister as an unemployeed Mark Oswald voting on the zoning and planning ordinances and becoming a brand new real estate agent and then getting the exclusive listing for the Nivens development within a matter of weeks.

      Or do you mean nothing sinister like Mike Alden being hired as a County Sheriff after supporting the airport police contract to the County Sheriff instead of the Londonderry PD?

      Should I even mention, Deb Levins blantant conflict of interest or go back further and talk about the transfer station…need I go on?

      Come on Tom, many of us have lived here long enough to realize
      what really sinister things these “volunteers” do in this town – you are either intentionally ignorant or just don’t have a clue.

      1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Robin

        Wow I can’t believe somebody else remembers the Mark Oswald, Mike Alden deals. Don’t forget the Mike Alden exit 4A side deal he got as well. The Anagnos brothers while one was one the planning board and the other a selectman fighting Fortier to not allow him to put a gas station at exit five so they would not get competition with the Exxon station they owned, but along came Aranco oil and they fought the town and won to put in the Sunoco. Why did the sewer line for Coke go beyond and up to the Anagnos property? Should us old timers continue with so many others?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Will

        Dear Long Time Resident, I have volunteered twice for 2 different committees in Londonderry and found the people wonderful and honest. It was a great experience that I would recommend to others. Your broad brush paints me and hundreds of others as hacks just in it for ourselves. It’s mean people like you that eat away at the fabric of a community.

        Why don’t you step out of the dark shadows and be a volunteer and help clean up the so-called volunteer mess and rampant corruption you speak of. Or are you one of those holier-than-thou critics from the sidelines just scratching your belly while firmly planted on your couch surrounded by cookie crumbs and stale cheetos?

        But, be cautious. Be very cautious. Be ready for those that will disagree with your decisions and recommendations as a public volunteer (and not just a secret whiner). They’ll take those disagreements and twist them into accusations of your corruptness, being on the take, etc. if they don’t like them. You’ve now been forewarned.

        [phmpff] That noise was the ball being placed in your court.

  2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Martin Srugis

    Hear, Hear!

  3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Martin Srugis

    Hear, Hear. If there is proof of this, folks should come forward and take a stand. Not let whispers go thru town. Thanks Tom.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1Mac

    I’m not so sure there is a conspiracy, but I do know this; that the town officials did not do enough to give the taxpayers in Londonderry the heads up on Woodmont. Everything about Londonderry is going to change (quality of life, taxes, traffic congestion, town resource usage, etc.) and not necessarily for the good. Only a fool would think that a development of this magnitude would not cause a major uproar in town. Many of us live in Londonderry because we like the town as it is. For a developer to come in to town and tell us that our lifestyle is wrong and that he is going to change the face of the town is outrageous. But this is exactly what has happened and it was empowered by the officials of Londonderry. The people that will suffer are the taxpayers and I wish the people involved in the decisions were proactive in letting the people of Londonderry know what kind of drastic, life altering changes were being considered by the developers and officials.

    The idea of conspiracies may be over the top, but they are not unexpected. Especially when many of the good people of Londonderry feel like they have been part of a con job. I for one believe that the best interests of Londonderry have not been taken into consideration during this process.

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Mac

    “Let’s clear the air, put an end to this part of the debate, and focus on making Woodmont what we as a community want it to become.”

    Tom, what we want Woodmont to become is GONE! Some of us are trying to focusing on a way to make it something manageable. Others, like many of the officials involved, seem to want to make Woodmont what the developer wants it to be, not what the taxpayers want it to be. Because so many taxpayers feel this way, the officals have created an enviroment of mistrust.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Dolan

      Mac, I certainly understand your frustration. What I am suggesting is to focus our energies on the future. None of us can change the past. Spending our finite resources (time, money, emotions) on circulating curruption theories of yesteryear is a waste, IMO. (Unless as Martin correctly points out above there is some real evidence of wrong doing.)

      I accept as human nature that some of our fellow citizens/neighbors will want to lash out in angry frustration, but it is my hope that we focus on what we CAN do versus what some may think we SHOULD have done. We can’t change yesterday but with enough effort we just might have an impact on tomorrow.

      The old Serenity Prayer comes to mind:

      “God grant me the serenity
      to accept the things I cannot change;
      courage to change the things I can;
      and wisdom to know the difference.”

      As an imperfect man, that simple thought helps keep me moving forward (in my life) without getting a stiff neck looking over my shoulder.

      So, respectfully I invite us all to focus on what is changeable/adjustable and put our collective energies there.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mac

        The problem Tom is that there are many questions about the past that need answering; public answers. Pushing the dust under the rug isn’t going to make Londonderry a better place. The room may look clean but there is still dirt under your feet. You seem to be playing the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” game. As a taxpayer I demand to know why I am in the mess I am in. We might not be able to change yesterday but we can certainly work to get the truth about what happened yesterday because that will help us determine what that future holds. If indeed there are some unethical things that have happened here (innocent or not) then the people of Londonderry deserve to know the truth. After all it is our taxes and our lifestyle that will be affected by this monster.

        My energy is focused on getting facts, something you obviously could care less about. I do not believe there are any conspiracies going on. But I do believe that there are those that have or will prosper because of the choices made and those choices come at the expense of the future of Londonderry. In other words, they come at the expense of me, my family and my wallet.

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Steven S.

    I have been wondering the same as written, as someone that paid attention to what the PUD was as it was debated, I have to think that if we had any idea that Woodmont,the land bordered by Hovey and Trolley Car and the land across the highway was to become the PUD, there would have been LOTS of folks questioning it and we would have had a say in it. I am not for or against this project yet, and yes we abut it.

    It just stinks, the whole project should be questioned… and yes, who knew what, and when should be asked and answered. Just my thoughts, thanks.

  7. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1admin

    Editor and staff note;

    Jack contacted us in November/December of 2010 about providing some method of communicating his ideas on Woodmont to others. He had started an email chain, but the audience was limited to those that signed up. At the time about 20K different people were reading this news service each month, several thousand a day, more now.

    Working with Jack for decades, we knew he did not “do electronic interactive media” should we take on his column, we would have to format and manage it ourselves. After considerable thought we aked him permission to add him as a columnist and format his message.

    The staff here does just that, it takes his emails, his commentary on those emails, pulls them together and publishes them with illustrations when we can. Nearly all his communications are published, some subjects are so fragmented that they can not be weaved together. They are few in number.

    He sent out an email on this comment chain this morning, as we said Jack is not electronically interactive in the new media format. The statement and his response follow, in the same format of his column.

    Jack, maybe you should make it clear that you are not the one selecting the content that is published. One Town Councilor believes that your story was a character assault:

    I understand that much of the content above is written/suggested by others, and you just collect and report on it, but the cloud created by this conspiracy theory suggestion of corruption is in my opinion unfounded.

    There is no motive nor any hard evidence that those 5 councilors engaged in any illegal/inappropriate behavior. By suggesting it, or having others suggest it, doesn’t make it true. It becomes an assault on their personal character simply through inuendo.

    Et al:

    The purpose of our emails are to inform each other of what each of us has learned about Woodmont and to pass feelings and ideas to Art Rugg the chairman of the Planning Board. (At his request.)

    I do as I’m doing now: I write my take on the comments coming in. All are signed. Nothing is anonymous. I do not reprint comments that in my editorial opinion are not of value. I’m a freelance journalist of long standing and this is a common editorial practice.

    That being said I have long felt that when a conspiracy is suspected it is most likely just stupidly. In the case of Woodmont I think town officials and staff were sold a bill of goods. Doing this in non public meetings is a questionable legal issue which the council for the Union Leader pointed out in print to our town manager who said no problem we do it all the time, or words to that effect. I’m sure one of our email researchers will comeback with the exact quote.

    On top of our email list serve of 90 some addresses, Steve Young has asked permission to pick out what he likes for his service. He puts my comments in white and everyone else’s in blue. (I put everyone else’s in bold italics.)

    Steve does an excellent job and adds all kinds of support graphics and art as well as internet feeds.

    We are all doing this in the best interests of all of Londonderry citizens.

    If there is an elected or appointed official or town staff that can’t handle public comment they should resign!

    I served the Town of Londonderry for 25 years and faced an angry mob on TV with police presence in support of our power plant.

    I never called or attended a secret or non public meeting in all that time. Our LHRA did hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate transactions in Londonderry and never violated the right to know laws.

    I would like to know the nature and duration of all the non public meeting with the Woodmont principles. It seems there were eighteen to thirty six months of meeting before the voters were informed what the town officials were up to. What would that practice be called?

    Jack Falvey

  8. -10 Vote -1 Vote +1Brian Farmer

    As far as the PUD is concerned I offer this…..as one of 5 Councilors at the time that the PUD was approved the Council as a whole knew little or nothing about the potential development of Woodmont. Had I known it is very likely that I would have still voted for it. Why? No matter whether you are for or against Woodmont being developed it is going to be. Technically there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Development of Woodmont without the PUD would mean developing it under our other zoning and that would be far worse. The PUD allows more flexibility. The current zoning would almost certainly mean far more residential housing .. not a good thing.

    As for any conspiracy I offer a suggestion: File a freedom of information request for any and all Council emails related to any meetings with the developer or his representatives some think may have taken place during the time frame implied by these rumors. Also ask for the minutes of any non-public meeting that took place on this subject, non-public minutes are often sealed, ask the Town Council to vote to unseal them, something that they can do if they choose. What will you find? Little to nothing. And that should clear the air as far as thinking that the Council was involved in any conspiracy.

    Were there meetings with the developer or his representatives before any of this began. Yes but not with the Council. What about others? You’ll have to ask them. The meetings that had are not covered by any law, right-to-know or otherwise. They know who they are and in the best interest of the community moving forward they should step forward and tell us all about it.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

      After viewing the on demand presentation attached to this story I think Brian Farmer is absolutely correct. Jack you should file a right to know request and have all of the Town council minutes unsealed. While watching the meeting you will notice one councilor stepped down due to a conflict of interest, the others who remained specifically referred to the Woodmont project and how the PUD ordinance would apply. Farmer and O’Keefe have a specific conversation regarding Woodmont. Seems like you have found your fox Jack; now you need to save the hens. As the groups advocate please get the minutes and e mail them out for all to see.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steven S.

    I am not trying to imply anything illegal happened.

    But have to think if anyone debated the PUD and then voted it in KNOWING what was about to happen to the town and more importantly the familys, homeowners and anyone that would be effected by this very large project, they should have told us, if we knew before the PUD was voted in, there would not be any questions now.

    My feeling is, we need JOBS, so we can afford to live here, and its my hope that something wonderful comes out all this and we can put people to work.

    1. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Jack W

      Watched the Dec. 21 meeting and read the minutes.

      Let’s look at what was said.

      Wagner recuses herself because she says she has a public relations firm that promotes this concept.

      What concept?

      The thing she recused herself from was the PUD ordinance. That’s a process, not a concept like Woodmont is proposing.

      So it seems she had a full idea of the Woodmont concept, urban cluster buildings, before she recused herself.

      Also, she said her public relations firm promotes this concept. Never heard of Kathy’s PR firm, before or since. Did it have just one client, ie, Woodmont?

      But if she knew the concept, so must all the others who attended, Steve Young, Ron Campo, Art Rugg, John Farrell. Were they promoting the concept too.

      But even if she and the others were promoting the concept, why did they keep quiet. Had she and they explained what they knew about the concept to the taxpayers, maybe some of us who abut the development would come down and give our point of view.

      But because Kathy, Steve, Ron, Art and John decided to keep quiet, this thing caught passed without anyone giving it a close look.

      I guess Kathy’s Public Relations firm’s profits meant more to her than her job as a Town Councilor, (for which the taxpayers paid her).

      Time for all of these people to tell us what they knew and when they knew it, and then for all of them to resign.

      1. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Harry jackson

        Hey you seem like a jerk and know it all. You also seem to know too much info. An insider trying to play the blame game. I watched the same meeting you are the fools fool for sure in this web of lies.

        1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1momof2

          Nasty much?

  10. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Mike Brown

    While I prefer not to post on web-based community forums that allow the use of fictitious names, in this particular case I feel it is warranted. Given the implication that the entire Town Council I was a member of had some nefarious involvement in the Woodmont sale and/or creation of the PUD, I wanted to offer the following points as I personally recall them. I’m providing these comments at face value and under my real full name. These comments are mine alone, and are being offered for what it’s worth.

    1. The owners of the Woodmont property themselves chose to sell their land to this developer. Why they chose to take this path and not pursue some other direction is their personal business. It would be best to contact them directly and ask them why they did what they did with their land if you are so inclined.

    2. The first time I personally became aware of anything related to the sale of Woodmont, was when I was informed that a meeting had “already” taken place between a developer, their representatives and some members of the Town Council, Planning Board & School Board. I was not invited to this meeting even though I was the sitting Chair of the Council at that time, nor was I informed in advance it was going to take place. It was my understanding that one other Council member was invited to this meeting, but did not attend. The other 3 were not informed in advance and found out after it had taken place.

    3. Upon learning of this meeting, I asked what is was about and who had attended. I was told it was arranged by a developer and their representatives and that one member of the Council had attended the meeting, along with two members each from the Planning Board & School Board. I was informed that the meeting was of an informational nature only. When asked, the Town Manager indicated to me that he did not attend and no town staff was present either. It would be best to directly contact the Council, Planning Board & School Board officials that attended this meeting to ask them how they were invited and what was discussed if you are so inclined. Same goes for the developer and their representatives that arranged the meeting in question.

    4. As Chair at that time, I did not feel it was appropriate to have learned of this meeting after the fact. I also personally did not feel that meetings of this nature were appropriate and I told my fellow councilors & Town Manager that directly. I was informed by the Town Manager that meetings of this nature are not uncommon and are not illegal, as long as a quorum of elected/appointed official is not present and no decisions are made. That explanation not withstanding, I requested that the then Town Council not participate in a any further such meetings without all 5 members being made aware of it in advance, and that the Town Manager and/or staff be present should a meeting take place. A consensus was reached by the then Town Council to follow that policy. There were no further meetings of this nature (Woodmont or any other project) that I am aware of during the rest of the time I was a member of the Council. It should be noted that this meeting policy was for the then Town Council and not any other board of body.

    5. Regarding the subsequent passing of the PUD, former Councilor Farmer is accurate in stating that the then Town Council knew little at that time about the potential development that was being considered for the Woodmont property. While we were indeed made aware of the sale and understood the amount of acreage involved, substantive details regarding what was eventually going to be proposed, were not available to us as a body. Speaking for myself as one Councilor that voted to pass the PUD at that time, I was comfortable then with approving the ordinance based on it’s own merits from a zoning perspective, i.e. the town would be better off having control in master planning large tracts of land versus the standard zoning we had at that time.

    6. Lastly, on a related note to all of the above the then Town Council had received legal advice that we were limited with what information could be shared regarding the Woodmont sale & subsequent development. I personally don’t feel it would be appropriate to share any specifics beyond this. In addition, we received similar legal advice that sitting public officials (elected or appointed) should refrain from posting comments on web-based forums regarding official business, policies, votes etc. The folks here who perceive there was a lack of information about Woodmont coming from the then Town Council, should take this into consideration.

    Mike Brown
    Former Town Councilor

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

      Read Brown’s number 2. It was my understanding that one other council member was invited to the meeting, but did not attend. The other 3 were not informed in advance and found out after the meeting had taken place. Jack did they find out in the meeting when minutes were sealed from the public.? Seems to me 3 knew for sure about woodmont. Brown, Farmer and o’keefe. The meeting shows Wagner stepping down. Did 4 councilors know? Please ask for the minutes to be unsealed.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1Paul DiMarco

      Both Mike Brown’s and Brian Farmer’s accounts are accurate to my recollection for something that took place over 2.5 years ago. For the record, I was the “other” councilor who was invited to the discussion with the developer, which took place in early May 2009, but chose to not attend.

      I have no ties to Woodmont, the Lievens, or any developer. I would have no personal gain by supporting this project or the PUD. My decision to support the PUD was based on similar rationale that both Mike Brown and Brian Farmer already stated – it stood on its own merits. I did not vote for this because I felt it would benefit Woodmont. I voted for it because I felt it was best for Londonderry.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Doug

        It is best for Londonderry. It will benefit us in the long run. You did right by voting for what you felt was best for Londonderry, thank you. Woodmont will help drive our economy for the next 20 years and also help keep some for our younger people here in Londonderry and not have to move to other places for jobs.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1Martin Srugis

    It’s interesting in all this “discussion” that the Lievens family comes away scott free? Why? They surely knew what impact this would have on Londonderry, open space, conservation land but chose to go ahead anyway! Maybe more questions should be directed to the Lievens family about why they did what they did.
    But keep in mind private property rights! They could do what they want with their land. As far as I know, no one stepped forward to buy the land.
    Before the Commons gets built, remember when Levittiown was first built that was a radical idea at the time, now its known as suburban sprawl.
    The PUD master plan will be the avenue to build this toward the situation Woodmont Commons finds itself. No public transit, no rail connection, one exit off the highway (for now).
    I am keeping an open mind on this until more details of what will be built.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jonathan

      Increasing the number of compact, mixed-use developments like these will have a much larger pro-open-space impact in the long run.

  12. +12 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

    DEB Lievens should not come away scott free. She should be removed from the conservation commitee. When property on 102 was reappraised for a lower amount than the original price, the Conscom made the decision to go with the higher price and the council went along with it. Something about a moral obligation. Why did DEB not recuse herself in that deal? Could it be that the higher per acre price would establish the going rate for her husband’s (she always says that it’s not hers) property. I guess moral obligations don’t aply in her case. I don’t believe in coincidences. ALWAYS folow the money.

  13. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1David

    Deb Lievens is the Chair of the Londonderry Conservation Committee and part of their Mission Statement includes the following… The Commission’s major responsibilities are to review Dredge & Fill applications for the NHDES Wetlands Bureau; support Planning Board goals with DRC review and recommendations for Conditional Use Permits; work to preserve the community’s orchards and open spaces.

    It’s mind boggling that the Chair of a committee who’s goal is to preserve the orchards sold her orchard to a developer who plans on changing the look and feel of the entire town forever. Whether you are for or against Woodmont I think we can all agree that she should not be on the commission let alone the Chair.

    Hypocrite- a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1Bill


    No matter what the topic there will always be conspiracy theorists. In order to blunt their efforts, transparency is the key. On this issue it has been anything but. When first brought up a certain town official was identified and admitted to being at the meeting. At the same time the official also stated that he couldn’t recall who else was at the meeting. Come on. As big an impact as this project was going to be, said offical didn’t make note of who else was there? Since then, a second town offical has admitted being there, and a third recently stated that he was invited but chose not to attend. Why? Could it be that his presence would have constituted an illegal (non posted) meeting? It kind of doesn’t make sense that 3 out of 5 of the highest officials in the town were invited. What about the other two? When these are added up can you see where people have serious concerns about what went down?


    You say that Woodmont would be developed with or without the PUD, and that we have more control with the PUD. As citizens how are we supposed to know? We have not been told how we can control the development more, only that we can. I realize that it’s the Planning Boards responsibility to enforce the regs, but giving the citizens more info may address some of the concerns. You state that under the old zoning there would be a greater impact of residences being built. Meaning more students in schools etc. Assuming that the old zoning of one acre lots is enforced, and based upon 680 acres, the max number of residences is 680. That’s assuming that all 680 acres are buildable. That could put a potential 1360 new students assuming 2 per household. If my memory is good, and it’s not like it used to be but that’s a whole other topic, the preliminary figures put out state that the developer is looking to build 1800 mixed type residences. Using only one student per residence that would put a potential 1800 students into the school system. Doesn’t sound to me like it’s more control.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Mac

      It is my understanding that it is the PUD that is allowing the Woodmont developers to violate the existing town building/development ordinances (like road size, density, land use, etc.). I would have prefered that Woodmont be developed under existing rules. At least it would have allowed the people of Londonderry some control.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1Martin Srugis

      I believe the number of units is 1300, if you want elderly housing or workforce housing that number would be on top of the 1300.
      Also, only 60 units per year would be allowed to be built.

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