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Variance denied for Derry housing proposal

Union Leader Correspondent

April 08. 2013 10:54PM

DERRY - Members of the Zoning Board denied a variance for a three lot subdivision on the Windham line, citing concerns about the jurisdiction of the project and plans for a road from Windham into the Derry portion of the project.

Representatives of H and B Homes Corporation appeared before the ZBA seeking a variance for three single-family home lots off Linda Road near the Windham border.

The three houses would be part of a cul-de-sac beginning in Windham with access through a proposed road in that town.

Specifically, the developers were looking for variances allowing for 120 feet of frontage for the lots, and for undersized lots of between 1.4 and 1.7 acres. Under the town's regulations, house lots in the zone require 150 feet of frontage and 2 acres of land.

Project engineer Joseph Maynard of Benchmark Engineering said the subdivided lots would fit into the character of the neighborhood in Derry as well as in Windham, where most of the houses are on one-acre lots with less than 150 feet of frontage.

"The property is unique in that it is a residual area from a large tract of land in Windham," said Maynard.

He said H and B Homes has been working on the property between Windham and Derry for some time.

Initially, Maynard said, the developers attempted to gain access to the Derry property through Linda Road, but there were issues with the steep grade.

Currently, the Windham side of the cul-de-sac is under construction and a road is being built from Windham into the cul-de-sac.

Zoning Board member Lynn Perkins said he was concerned about which town would have jurisdiction over the Derry properties for things such as plowing and police and fire coverage, since the road would run in from Windham.

"There is an agreement with Windham that they will plow the road," said Maynard. "That was worked out a couple years back."

Maynard also said Windham and Derry have a mutual aid agreement for police and fire services and added that there are other locations in Derry where people have to go through Sandown or Windham first to access the town.

Zoning Board Chairman Allan Virr said the ZBA could not legally grant a variance for the lots at this time since there is no approve road.

"I have concerns about the access to the Derry portion (of the cul-de-sac) and the possible practicalities of the town maintaining a small area of land," he said. "Our ordinances define frontage as abutting an accepted private or public street, and to date, there has not been one accepted."

Virr said he believed the applicants should seek the approval of the Planning Board for the road and then come back for the variances for the individual lots at a later date.

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