By April Guilmet
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- As Londonderry Fire Department staff prepare to vacate the aging North Fire Station and move into an updated facility on Grenier Field Road, plans are also in the works to make use of the space once occupied by the former South Fire Station, which was replaced several years ago by the newer station at 17 Young Road.
During the Dec. 8 Planning Board meeting, town officials discussed possible uses for the former South Fire Station, located at 45 Buttrick Road. Construction on Londonderry’s South Fire Station was completed in late 2006, and the Young Road station opened in January 2007, according to Londonderry Fire Chief Kevin MacCaffrie.
Located at Tax Map 6, Lot 33A, which is in the town’s commercial district, the former fire station site has been eyed by a number of local businesses since its closure, Community Development Director Andre Garron said, though several factors have posed challenges toward bringing proposed projects to fruition.
“The site is limited by the fact that it’s all building and little lot,” Garron said yesterday. “We outlined several potential uses. But the overall input of staff is that the site is limited and is mostly appropriate for low-scale, lowtraffi c volume uses.”
Garron further noted that number of variances would need to be obtained because of space issues.
In a conceptual discussion held during the Wednesday night Planning Board meeting, developer Elmer Pease spoke on behalf of his client, RHP Investments, LLC.
“It’s in a commercial zone, so the allowed uses are many, but the land has limitations,” Pease said, noting that several options had been discussed with town planning officials.
Pease declined to identify the site’s interested client but did note the business was “a green company.”
Variances are currently being sought for allowing a business use to an existing commercial property with limited vehicle access, adequate loading space, limited parking, and reduced landscaping and green space.
He noted that the identity of the interested company would be revealed next week, when the proposed project heads before the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
The Zoning Board of Adjustments will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Town Hall.
In the meantime, local firefighters are gearing up to move into the town’s newest fire station at Grenier Field Road, toward the other side of town.
Though the final move-in date has not yet been set, MacCaffrie said he hoped to see the project completed by year’s end.
“Things are winding down to finish,” the fire chief said yesterday, noting that the new facility’s air conditioning system still needed to be installed.
While its unclear what the future holds for the current North Fire Station at 253b Mammoth Road, town officials previously suggested the structure be considered for additional parking and space for the Londonderry Senior Center, which shares a parking lot with the fire station.