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Derry ZBA grants variance to rebuild Island Pond house

By Adam Swift
Union Leader Correspondent

August 01. 2013 10:50PM

DERRY — Building or rebuilding homes on Island Pond can be a challenge for local property owners. In addition to the small lot sizes, residents are subject to the additional shoreline impact regulations overseen by the state Department of Environmental Services.

As a member of the Island Pond Association, J. Drennan Lowell was well-prepared when he appeared before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to seek a variance to rebuild a one-and-a-half-story, two-bedroom house at 31 Taylor Brook Lane.

Because of the narrow 50-foot wide lot, Lowell needed a variance because one of the sides of the new home would have been less than the prescribed 15 feet from a side lot line.

Lowell said that although the new building needs a variance, it is actually the same size as the existing building on the property and sits farther from the lake, making it more environmentally sound. In addition, he said the state has approved a new septic system for the property and granted a shoreline impact permit.

“The general size and style of the building will be consistent with the surrounding properties,” said Lowell.

To maintain good relations with the neighbor on the nonconforming side of the house, which will be 7 feet from the lot line, Lowell said there will be no second- floor windows on that side.

“We are trying to be sensitive to environmental issues, neighbor issues and zoning issues,” said Lowell.

In granting the variance, the ZBA praised Lowell for the detail he put into his presentation.

However, ZBA member Donald Burgess questioned the change from a single-floor building to a one-and-a-half story home.

“Wouldn’t it be two stories?” Burgess asked.

“Technically, it is a one-story structure in terms of not having a full two stories on each side of the house,” said Lowell. “It’s like a sideways cape. The side closest to the neighbor, all you will see is the roof while the second side is a dormer that runs the length of the house.”

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Mackey agreed that that is how the type of house Lowell is proposing is defined.

“It’s just new; I haven’t heard of that before,” said Burgess.

Mackey also noted that Lowell had properly filed for and received a shoreline impact permit from the state.

“Anything that is done within 250 feet of a lake falls under the comprehensive shoreland protection act,” Mackey said.

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