LONDONDERRY TIMES ◆
JANUARY 12, 2012
Proposals In for Woodmont Commons Third-Party Review T
KATHLEEN D. BAILEY
LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆
en proposals for pro- viding third-party re- view services for
the proposed Woodmont Commons development were opened and entered into the public record by the Planning Board at its Jan. 4 meeting. The pro- posals were scheduled to be reviewed later in the week and a determination made by the Jan. 11 Plan- ning Board meeting, which took place after the Lon- donderry Times went to press.
ment Director Andre Gar- ron said the Requests for Proposals or RFPs were sent out the week of Dec. 14. The RFP was adver- tised in local and regional newspapers and web- sites, including the Local Government Center, sev- eral sites for professional planners and the Urban Land Institute.
A subcommittee in- cluding Planning Board members Mary Wing Soares, Leitha Reilly, Rick Brideau and Scott Benson was scheduled to review the proposals Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 10, with the hope of making a recom- mendation the next night.
Garron opened the
proposals at the meeting, which was attended by three members of the Woodmont team - princi- pal Mike Kettenbach and attorneys Ari Pollack and John Michels. The proposals were complete, with each in- cluding a separate cost proposal, a digital copy and seven hard copies. Firms responding to the RFP are: Fougere Planning and Development Inc., Milford; Hawk Planning Resources, Concord; How- ard/Stein/Hudson, Boston; Brown Walker Planners Inc., Newburyport, Mass.; Resource Systems Group, Concord; Nitsch Engineer- ing, Boston; Shook Kelley, Charlotte, N.C.; Provan and Lorber, Contoocook; Stantec, Auburn; and Dev- ine Millimet, Manchester. Garron said the staff had put together a weight- ed evaluation form, on a scale of 1 to 10, for the subcommittee to rate the consultants. “We have a week to get this done - that will help them nar- row the field,” he said. After the packets were opened, Pollack expres- sed concern that some of the firms had done work for Pillsbury Realty, the
parent company for Wood- mont. “We will have to dig deep, and make aware of any potential conflicts,” he said.
An electronic version of the proposals was expected to be online this past week.
Kettenbach said he was pleased with the number of proposals.
Philosophical questions The Planning Board also discussed how and when to answer commu- nity members’ questions about Woodmont. Board member Lynn Wiles said, “We’ve had a number of questions from the public - where do we stand on that?” Garron said some of the questions, on the process, were answered by staff in several work- shops last year. Staff could not answer ques- tions of a more technical nature, he said, because they didn’t have the appli- cation yet. Chairman Art Rugg
said former Town Planner Tim Thompson compiled a list of the questions, which is still available on the town website. The “bulk” of the questions were directed at the
Correction: The identity of a Londonderry High School swimmer in a photo in the Dec. 15 edition was incorrect. The swimmer is Gina Occhipinti.
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developers, he said, but no concrete plan was available at the time. Garron said some of the questions could be answered in the near future, “as we get into the technical aspect,” and some could be answered by the proposal itself. Board member Laura
El-Azem referred to the passing of time, saying, “So much has happened, so much has evolved. Are the questions still rele- vant?”
El-Azem suggested con-
tacting the people who formed the original ques- tions, but other board members said there were no names attached. “The difficulty with some questions,” Garron said, “is that as we move forward with the PUD (Planned Use Develop-
ment), it might be advan- tageous to change them. For example, the develop- ers could say, ‘We’ll put five apple trees here instead of four.’”
But it would still be
worthwhile to have an- swers “plugged in” to Thompson’s Power Point, member Chris Davies re- sponded. Davies recom- mended answering ques- tions on Thompson’s Power Point as they come up in the next stage of the Woodmont process. Soares agreed that for some questions, such as “How is open space defined?” the answers are available. But others such as “Has every member of the Planning Board read the questions?” could be answered in the meeting. “I think we should take five minutes to do this,
and put it to rest.” But Soares also refer-
red to one question, “Has every member of the Planning Board done re- search on the PUD Laws... and was this done before a possible Londonderry PUD law?”
“I don’t believe,” she said, “that that is what a Planning Board member’s job is.”
Davies encouraged the
board and staff to plan for more time for future proj- ects. “We need a ‘buffer’ of time,” he said. “Unfortunately, the statute is the statute,” Garron said, referring to the 65-day “window” be- tween application accept- ance and conditional ap- proval. But he said it was possible to build in more time up until the applica- tion acceptance.
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