By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Neighbors are trying to figure out the best way to handle the future of one of the town’s oldest “paper” roads.
Residents living on Lawrence Street are hoping they can agree on what to do if a portion of the street is released from public servitude, or any town obligation.
Steve Robichaud lives at 12 Lawrence St. and originally brought a request to Town Council hoping a section of his street — a right-of-way connecting Beacon and Sargent streets — could be released by the town.
That section was dedicated in a 1902 plan, but never approved as an official town road.
The area requested is approximately 180 feet by 40 feet. If approved, the town would no longer have any obligation for that portion of the road and abutters would take control and have rights to the center of the former right-of-way. They would pay all fees associated with any future surveying of the property or other improvements.
Abutters would also have to prepare a deed to mark new property boundaries. There would be no cost to the town for anything.
Robichaud hopes to eventually square off the properties in the area to someday have space to build a garage.
Those new proposed boundaries aren’t sitting well with one resident, who said she has cared for that stretch of property for many years and wants everything to remain intact.
Nancy Trow owns three properties in that area, a spot where she has spent her entire life.
She doesn’t agree with Robichaud’s hopes of releasing that section of the street.
“I take good care of it,” she said. “It also serves as an access to my last property.”
She said Robichaud hasn’t shown support to care for that section of the street. She has landscaped for years, planted shrubs and makes sure the land is mowed every week.
“Mr. Robichaud has never mowed that, not once,” she said.
The town also uses some of the area for snow storage.
Town Administrator John Anderson said it’s all about keeping neighborhood harmony. If all parties don’t agree, the town should not move forward until they do.
Town Councilor Brad Benson agreed that all neighbors should be on the same page.
“We need a unified proposal. They came to us and we are not obligated to release anything,” he said. “All neighbors should support it or we shouldn’t touch it.”
Town Councilor Michael Fairbanks said he hoped everyone could agree.
“We hope the abutters can come back with a unified plan,” he said.
Councilors voted unanimously to table the Lawrence Street issue until all neighbors can agree on what to do.