Londonderry has always had a vested interest in supporting local businesses. In 2009, the Planning Board made several changes to their policies to give developers and potential businesses better options when considering a move into Londonderry. These changes include:
- Reducing the amount of paper copies of plan sets submitted to the Town for review by allowing for electronic submissions of plans for review by the Town’s Design Review Committee.
- Reducing the turn-around time on review comments from the Town to the applicant from 30 working days to 30 calendar days.
- Development of a local “book of standards & typical construction details” for use by applicants to reference in their plans, rather than having to create a multitude of details within each individual plan set.
- Revising the acceptance procedure so that the Planning Board can accept applications as complete. This allows a public hearing on a project to begin without the requirement of having all state and federal permits “in hand,” but rather requiring proof of application for such permits. This change alone could save several months of time typically required for a project to be eligible for a public hearing with the Planning Board, as many state permits take up to 6 months of review at the state level before permits are issued.
- Allowing for surety bonds as an acceptable method of ensuring improvements are properly constructed, along with the currently allowed cash or letter of credit as an acceptable financial guarantee. This is a solution to criticism that letters of credit are expensive and sometimes difficult for developers to obtain, allowance of surety bonds permits a lower cost alternative to developers without jeopardizing the Town’s interests in ensuring proper construction of improvements. At the same time this protects the public interest in providing a method of completion or remediation on projects that may pause or stop mid proccess.
- Applications and checklists have been updated to reflect all these changes, and Londonderry’s planning department has created “editable .pdf” applications on the Town’s website that applicants to fill in the applications electronically.
- Future, additional enhancements to the applications may allow for electronic submission of applications.
To learn more about the changes, read Londonderry Streamlines Development Process on the Londonderry News website. Be sure to read the descriptions of many of Londonderry’s businesses!