By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The owner of a vintage and antique car business hopes to double his space and business in the next year. He recently was granted permission by town zoning officials to move to a new space nearby.
Zoning officials granted a conditional variance to Stephen Condodemetraky, owner of dustyoldcars.com, allowing him to operate his business at 9 Madden Road, about 100 yards from his current location on Tinkham Avenue.
The move was approved despite a change in the town’s zoning ordinance for the Industrial IV district that prohibits any automobile sales.
Condodemetraky was unaware of the zoning changes. He said his business is more like an online sale operation, with vehicles sold over the Internet and shipped all over the world.
“We buy and sell antique and vintage cars pre-1975,” Condodemetraky said. “We do not display cars outside for sale, no balloons, no flags. All vehicles are exclusively located inside the building.”
The only cars that might find their way outside are ones waiting to be shipped.
No car repairs will be done on site, he said, except for some minor work on his own cars.
Right now, he said, he has about 75 cars in his inventory, but hopes to grow his stock up to about 135 vehicles. He has sold cars to clients all over the world, including New Zealand, Russia and China.
Condodemetraky’s inventory is stored in a rented space on Crystal Avenue in the former Standard Sash and Door building.
“We’ve sold cars to 20 countries, including Australia and Africa,” he said.
He told zoning officials he is a 15-year Derry resident and wants to keep his business dealings in this community.
He also hopes to grow his employee force.
Zoning Board of Adjustment Chairman Alan Virr said the board had some concerns about whether to allow Condodemetraky to move to the new facility now that zoning changes are in place, but agreed his auto business was not a normal sales model.
Virr also said it was important to encourage residents to bring their business to their own community.
“If I were a regular retail dealer, I would want to be out on Route 28 or on 93, in a higher visibility area,” Condodemetraky said. “But I’m not.”
Conditions on Condodemetraky’s variance include no outside display of vehicles, no outside maintenance or repairs on site, and no vehicle storage on the property.