, Derry, New Hampshire

January 30, 2014

Dumpster Depot plan heading to court

Planning and Zoning boards retaining separate council

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Opponents to a proposed Dumpster facility in town say things still don’t smell right.

Even after town officials said last week that Dumpster Depot owners are heading to court over last month’s Zoning Board decision to deny an appeal that would have allowed the trash facility to be built at 41 Ashleigh Drive, some still question what’s going on and how the proposed project has played out within town boards.

Last week, Greenwich Road resident Brenda Wilson asked town councilors what the status of the Dumpster plan was. She has been one of the most outspoken opponents to the project for many months.

Wilson said she was most concerned after hearing Planning Board chairman David Granese state at a meeting that the Planning Board was retaining legal counsel as part of the Dumpster plan following the zoning decision.

That, according to Wilson, made no sense.

The Planning Board originally gave the project conditional approval on Aug. 21, but those living nearby the proposed 7,200-square-foot facility continued a fight to keep Dumpsters away from their backyards.

The plan could bring up to 350 Dumpsters to be stored on the property.

The Zoning Board first ruled in November that the Planning Board had made a mistake by giving approval to Dumpster Depot back in August and said the business was not a permitted use in that area of town. An attempt at a rehearing appeal of that decision failed a month later.

Wilson said after the most recent Zoning Board decision the Dumpster Depot owners had two options, file a variance or head to Superior Court. Nothing in that decision made reference for any more input from Granese and his board, she said.

“The Zoning Board upheld our appeal twice,” Wilson said. “This gives the appearance something unethical is going on. Why is the town protecting Dumpster Depot instead of the citizens of Derry?”

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said last week that Dumpster Depot would be appealing the zoning decision in court.

Budreau also said the town’s counsel advised that the Planning Board retain a separate legal counsel since that board and the Zoning Board are now finding themselves in an adversarial positions due to the Dumpster Depot conflict.

It’s the Planning Board’s views against another town board, the Zoning Board, he said.

The Planning Board felt they did it all right, he said, but the Zoning Board cast doubt about how the Dumpster Depot approvals were handled. That’s why he decided to allow the Planning Board to seek the opinion of another attorney

Town Councilor Al Dimmock said he has sat on both the Planning Board and Zoning Board. He said the Zoning Board has every right to disagree with the Planning Board as they are “the judges.”

“And the Planning Board has no right to question the Zoning Board,” he said.