Woodmont Wilderness & RSA 91-A

If you put ten dollars on the table and by a simple majority vote it could be turned into one hundred dollars, you would come to the table as often as required to collect your windfall.

Woodmont has invested ten million dollars and wants our Planning Board to vote to change it into one hundred million dollars. Fine by me, if there were no downside to our town, but these things don’t work that way.

When the first bulldozer hits the orchards and apple trees hit the ground, those dozing at home during planning board dronings will be up in arms crying foul, the fix is in, everyone is on the take, corruption, and who knew what by when?

The simple truth will be that those that put their money on the table and then hired attorneys to go to the table and watch it month after month will have legally gained the right to bulldoze all the apple trees and as much of Londonderry as they would like.

Unless you show up and stand up for your rights, you forfeit the right to take pot shots at one and all for what has transpired. If we have to vote “the bums out!” so be it. If town staff and professional town management have not served us well, others can be hired who are more attuned to the community they serve.

Woodmont is that big a deal. It is a game changer for every resident of Londonderry. Your investment in your home and property is on the line. If you live in Londonderry everything will change and it will just begin with your taxes. Your land and property values will change dramatically over the next ten years. It has yet to be shown what benefit each of us will gain when the value of the orchard land goes through the roof by breaking the towns one acre zoning laws which we all abide by and have invested our treasure in. Hundreds of acres will be zoned for six dwellings per acre with no restrictions on immediate sale to others in any chunks the market will bear. There are no hundred acre limits on resale of rezoned land!

All these facts and issues are on the table now. Your fellow taxpayers and citizens volunteering to represent you on the Planning Board and town council cannot do so in a vacuum or in a half filled room.  We all have to serve as well, by being there.

Nothing much is said to be on the table tomorrow night. I’ll be there! Will you? You can bet the paid Woodmont attorneys will be there. I reported on my of site meeting with our town staff for our walk in the woods and Woodmont(November 22, 2011). I would like to raise the issue tomorrow night of the meetings town staff has had with Woodmont in preparing and presenting its master plan for the PUD. I would hope they would bring minutes and dates of those non public meetings. We the people have a right to know about those meetings. New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know Law (RSA 91-A) See you ALL tomorrow, December 14, 2011.

“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!

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A First Attempt at Signed Citizen Input about Woodmont

Using the protocol suggested by Art Rugg, here is a first attempt to provide signed citizen input to the Planning Board. I signed the email and take ownership of its content.

All citizens are encouraged to email Andre Garron and copy the Planning Board with their ideas, support or commentary on Woodmont.

Visit the Planning Board Members list on the Town site by clicking here!

Dear Andre:

Having spent several months listening to the Woodmont conceptuals, perhaps it might be a good idea to develop some town conceptuals for the same project.

Conceptual Proposed square on Pillsbury Road, on the top right the Woodmont Storage Buildings are shown converted to a Civic Center

Hopefully the two can be made to work together.

For the time being, just thinking about what is proposed west of I-93, we might consider the following:

  • Woodmont is bounded roughly on the south by Rt 102 with its main entrance being Garden Lane, on the east by I-93, on the west by Gilcreast Road and on the north by Kitt Lane and Gorden Drive.
  • Within those bounds there will be ten to twenty years of building and construction.
  • Encapsulating the construction site must be a major consideration for the town in protecting the quality of life of  current residents. Buffering the site should be a goal of the master planning the town should undertake now, so that it can be overlaid on top of the developers master plan soon to be submitted.
  • Many thousands of the town’s signature apple trees are to be sacrificed during the construction of Woodmont. Before trees begin to be cut or bulldozed, protective buffer trees should be designated in a pre construction town master plan overlay to preserve options for minimizing construction interference with existing quality of life.
  • Because an internal road net is anticipated, we can take the lessons learned during the multi owner construction of Century Village and require that existing town roads do not become ten to twenty year construction access roads. The project should be required to build from the inside out. This is not a burdensome requirement for the developer, but rather will avoid costly upgrades to town roads and intersections and allow for all new construction to be internally self supporting.

I would hope that this project master planning process could begin immediately so that guidance can be provided to the developer for his master plan submission be in harmony with the needs of the town.

Some effort has already been made in this direction in that the protection of three rows of signature Mackintosh apple trees along Gilcreast Road (A 135 foot setback from existing pavement.) has been proposed and discussed at conceptual meetings. Curb cuts have been reduced in theory on Gilcreast Road and in support of the construction buffer concept could be eliminated all together with better design of the internal project road net.

It has also been discussed that the same buffer strategy using existing apple trees be applied to Kitt Road and Gorden Drive.

All this can be worked out in concept by the town in advance of our next meetings. No engineering need be done, just some concept overlays to the same minimal detail that we have been working with from the developer for the past months.

Some colored buffer zones using the three rows of apple tree standard could be provided to the developer. This would guide him in  his master plan design of his proposed internal road net.

Before we have a working development, it first must be built. Let’s begin by controlling the building process and its impact before trees begin to come down!

As mentioned, these are my ideas, having studied this project for many months and having worked on developing projects in Londonderry for twenty five years on the LHRA. I would be pleased to speak to these concepts.

If it would help the Planning Board I could create a petition and present it signed by residents in support of project buffer master planning by the town.

Because the developer is copied on these emails, which are shared with our email group, it well could be that he will take the initiative and modify his master plan to reflect these resident needs. As always I look forward to his input.

Regards,
Jack

“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!

To read Andre’s response to Jack’s letter, click Read More.

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