, Derry, New Hampshire

July 11, 2013

Derry councilors approve zoning changes

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — After months of meetings and a lot of public outcry, the town’s general commercial district will see some changes.

Zoning ordinance revisions were approved by the Town Council at a meeting earlier this month.

The newly approved updates govern what’s permitted in the town’s General Commercial and Office Medical Business zones portion of Route 28, from near Parkland Medical Center, down past Clam Haven and toward Ryan’s Hill.

Some original proposed changes included removing gas stations and auto repair and sales facilities from the list of permitted uses, but they were reinstated into the updated plan.

Some existing properties are grandfathered in, according to Planning Director George Sioras.

“Many people were concerned that their uses would go away,” he said.

Another sticking point with some was whether to allow single-family homes in the district.

That may be for a future discussion on a mixed-use overlay district for the town, where residential building could be combined along with commercial development in the general commercial zone.

This particular zoning situation was a long process, with the Planning Board holding seven workshops and public hearings to get input from residents and those directly affected by the changes that would accompany the town’s plans to extend water and sewer service down Route 28.

The plan was designed to help boost economic development in that area.

Councilor Neil Wetherbee said he would welcome talks on a potential overlay district. He said he knew it would be hard to please everyone.

“My sincere hope is that the Planning Board continues with (an overlay district) to allow some mixed use,” he said.

The Planning Board will hold a workshop on July 17 to begin the discussion on a mixed-use overlay district.