Derry zoning board to hear appeal by Dumpster Depot abbuterBy HUNTER McGEE
Union Leader Correspondent
September 29. 2013 9:39PM
DERRY — An abutter’s appeal that could derail the proposed Dumpster Depot site plan is scheduled to come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday.
State Rep. John O’Connor filed the appeal in the wake of the Planning Board’s decision on Aug. 21 to approve the controversial site plan.
The proposal calls for the construction of a two-story, 7,200-square-foot building with outside space for 350 Dumpsters. The Dumpsters would be rented out to individuals or contracting companies on Ashleigh Drive.
O’Connor, who said he is scheduled to be first on the agenda, is challenging a decision by the town’s code enforcement department, alleging that it mistakenly categorized the business as 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He said the definition for a contractor’s yard was repealed by the Planning Board on May 14, 2012, and deleted on June 14, 2012, by Town Council.
O’Connor also sits on the Planning Board but has recused himself from voting on the plan.
O’Connor said the business isn’t appropriate for the area and will diminish property values. He pointed to three tracts of land that are near the proposed site on Ashleigh Drive and up for sale.
“Who will want to build there?” O’Connor said. “It wasn’t zoned for that interpretation of code enforcement.”
O’Connor said the plan will place Dumpsters close to an area that has a movie theater, Walmart, a restaurant and other businesses.
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.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve gone through the process and it was approved, and it passed all regulations,” Paul said last month. “We’ve done everything appropriate as far as state and local levels.”
Paul added, “I understand they have the right to appeal.”
Even if the appeal is approved by the ZBA, Paul could still file for a variance, which could effectively nullify the appeal, O’Connor said. If the appeal is defeated, O’Connor said he and a number of other residents, and from 30 to 40 businesses, would file for abatements.
“We will all file abatements if we lose this,” he said.
A second appeal filed by abutter Brenda Wilson was rejected earlier this month by the Planning Board. Wilson’s appeal has now been filed with Rockingham County Superior Court, O’Connor said, adding that it is scheduled to go before the court in January.
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.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Derry Municipal Center, third floor.