DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

June 13, 2013

Derry councilors table zoning changes

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — Many residents are hoping the town won’t make zoning changes along Rockingham Road.

Changes won’t come yet; town councilors tabled the proposed amendments until a meeting June 18 after requesting more information on the controversial zoning updates

Originally, officials hoped to update what would be permitted in the town’s General Commercial and Office Medical Business zones. Businesses not allowed would be car sales, gas stations and other repair facilities.

People living on that stretch of Route 28 presented a petition to town officials, saying they didn’t want things to change.

Planners held seven workshops and several public hearings on the proposed zoning changes that would accompany plans to extend town water and sewer down Route 28.

The plan was designed to help boost economic development in that area. Planners spent months working on the rezoning plan and finally brought the zoning proposal before Town Council last week.

Gerry and Beth Siragusa have followed the discussions for months. They own Circle of Friends day care at 49 South Main St. and vehemently oppose the plan.

“A lot of my neighbors have come up here with opinions and petitions presented,” Gerry Siragusa said. “So, please, don’t make the change; keep it as is.”

Others said the change would limit their hopes of selling their property. Some say it’s too early to think about future development when so many homes may be affected.

“It’s putting the cart before the horse,” Timothy Butterfield said.

The Derry veterinarian has opposed the plan all along.

Planning Board member Randy Chase told councilors Derry has a tradition of some bad zoning calls in past years. Now, the town is trying hard to catch up.

Councilors voted to table two zoning changes until the next meeting.

“That will give us enough information to talk about this more, not at 10:20 at night,” Councilor Brad Benson said.

Councilors did approve two other zoning amendments dealing with definitions, and churches being allowed in certain districts of town.