Pair of Derry abutters file Dumpster Depot appeals
DERRY — Two abutters of the proposed Dumpster Depot project said they have filed separate appeals challenging decisions by local officials that cleared the way for the business to come to town.
State Rep. John O’Connor and Brenda Wilson said they each filed an appeal on Friday. O’Connor’s appeal will go before the Zoning Board and Wilson’s appeal before the Planning Board.
“We are very hopeful,” said Wilson, who is leading a group of about 150 residents who oppose the plan. “The support isn’t dwindling at all.”
In his appeal, O’Connor is challenging a decision by the town’s code enforcement department, alleging that it mistakenly categorized the business as a “contractor’s yard.”
But he said the town’s current zoning ordinances don’t have a definition for a “contractor’s yard.” He said the definition for a contractor’s yard was repealed by the Planning Board on May 14, 2012, and deleted on June 14, 2012, by the Town Council.
“It’s not a permitted use by definition,” O’Connor said.
The state representative also sits on the Planning Board, but has recused himself from voting on the plan.
Wilson said she has filed for a re-hearing of the matter and to have it brought back to the Planning Board. If that is rejected, it would then go before the Zoning Board, she said.
One of the reasons for the appeal, Wilson said, is the decision by the board to allow the business to have full Dumpsters left at the facility for 24 hours on weekdays and 36 hours on weekends.
Any Dumpster left would have to be covered and remain in the truck under an enclosed canopy at the facility, according to a condition of the plan approved by the Planning Board.
In the Aug. 21 meeting, the Planning Board voted, 5-2, to approve the proposal that calls for the construction of a two-story, 7,200-square-foot building with outside space for 350 Dumpsters. Planning Board members Al Dimmock and Ann Marie Alongi voted against the plan. Dimmock is the Town Council’s liaison to the Planning Board.
The plan has drawn the ire of neighbors who say the business doesn’t belong in the area and will cause noise and pollution, as well as increase rodent and mosquito activity.
Dumpster Depot owner David Paul has said he understands residents living near the proposed facility don’t want it in their back yard, but that it is allowed in the industrial-zoned section. Paul said last month that he has gone through the legal process and the plan was approved and passed all regulations.
Town councilors said Planning Board members were in a difficult position but followed appropriate rules in the wake of their decision to approve the controversial plan. They added that the board was limited by zoning regulations that allowed for the business.
“The Planning Board is in a tough spot, and I think it was handled properly,” said Council Chairman Mike Fairbanks.
Councilor Mark Osborne, who attended the Aug. 21 meeting, said there are legitimate arguments that could be made for both approval or rejection of the site plan.
Wilson said neighbors plan to attend the Town Council’s Tuesday night meeting, filling the chambers to voice their opposition to the proposal. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Derry Municipal Center.