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Derry zoning board approves variance for vintage car business

Union Leader Correspondent

April 08. 2013 10:54PM

DERRY - A local vintage car business will be able to move to new quarters about 100 yards from its current location despite a change in the zoning regulations for the town's Industrial 4 district.

Last year, the Zoning Board approved a special exception allowing Derry resident Stephan Condodemetraky to operate on Tinkham Avenue.

Condodemetraky was back before the ZBA last week to request a special variance to move his operation to a nearby building on Madden Road.

However, in the time between his Tinkham Road approval last year and his plan to move this year, there was a change in regulations for the Industrial 4 district prohibiting the sale of automobiles within the zone.

Condodemetraky said he was not aware of the change in the zoning regulations.

"I'm literally moving two steps down," he said. "I could walk there in one second."

As the ZBA members discussed the variance, several said that they understood Condodematraky's business is not like a typical used car lot, but said they had concerns about granting the variance for the building and setting a precedent for future automobile sales if Condodemetraky were to leave.

Condodemetraky said his business is more like an online sales operation, with the vintage cars being sold over the internet and shipped across the country, as well as overseas.

"We sell 25 to 30 cars per month, which is a lot of cars, but you would never know it," he said, adding that there is no showroom and no cars are displayed for sale outside.

The cars are warehoused at a separate location, and the Madden Road site would be a place for local buyers to pick up the vehicles.

There would be some minor repairs done at the location, but no outside service, according to Condodemetraky.

"My feeling on it is that classic cars are a commodity rather than a convenience where someone needs a car to drive around," said ZBA Chairman Allan Virr. "Most of these are not intended to be daily drivers."

Virr said he believed the intent of the zoning change was to prevent the Industrial 4 zone from having outside used car lots.

The ZBA granted the variance for Condodemetraky with the conditions that there be no outside display of vehicles, no outside repair or maintenance, and no storage of vehicles on the property.

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