By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The Zoning Board closed one door to those opposing a planned Dumpster Depot in town, but opened another one for a possible appeal.
The Zoning Board denied an appeal request last week from those hoping to halt the Dumpster plan at 41 Ashleigh Drive, but said there is still a chance to bring forward concerns about the proposal.
Planning Board member and direct abutter John O’Connor appeared before the Zoning Board at a meeting Oct. 3. He hoped to appeal an administrative decision by code enforcement officer Bob Mackey, who said Dumpster Depot was a permitted use in the Industrial III zone in that area of town.
O’Connor stepped down from all discussion and voting on the Dumpster Depot plan.
Zoners told O’Connor he waited too long to file his appeal, but could appeal the Planning Board’s Dumpster Depot approval.
Zoning officials would then hear all the information from the case, review all Planning Board information and minutes, then make a decision.
Zoning Board Chairman Alan Virr said this case was unique.
“In my 10 years on the board, an appeal of an administrative decision is not the run-of-the-mill type of case we come up with,” Virr said. “I don’t recall ever having one; they are rare.”
The Planning Board gave Dumpster Depot conditional approval on Aug. 21 by a vote of 5-2, but those living nearby the proposed 7,200-square-foot facility said things were done incorrectly throughout the process.
Many residents and abutters have been outspoken in opposing the plan, appearing before various boards, including Planning, Zoning and Town Council to air their grievances.
Greenwich Road resident Brenda Wilson has a long list of why she believes the decision to conditionally approve was “unlawful, illegal and unreasonable.”
Wilson said the conditions attached to the approval process were changed between a meeting in June and final approval in August.
Conditions attached to the plan included an update landscaping plan, no fueling on site, revised hours of operation, no Dumpster washing on site, annual rodent and mosquito control measures, and only empty Dumpsters allowed on site, with the exception of a 24-hour stay during the weekdays and a 36-hour stay on the weekends in the event that is needed. Dumpsters must remain covered, on the truck and be parked under a canopy on site.
But the Planning Board held firm to its original approval and denied a rehearing of the case.
Virr said the appeal process could continue as residents’ opinions should be heard.
“We will hear the Planning Board case,” he said. “This board feels it is our responsibility to take care of the townspeople of Derry.”
Board member Lynn Perkins said having the Zoning Board hear the Planning Board case may work in opponents’ favor.
“This broadens the range of evidence you can bring toward this board,” Perkins said.
Once the Zoning Board makes a decision, those appealing that decision have 30 days to file in Superior Court if they choose to do so.
“I hope that doesn’t happen,” Virr said.
Virr told O’Connor that even though his original appeal did not work out, he still had a chance to move on with the next chapter of the appeal process.
“Mr. O’Connor, you’ve lost, but you may have won,” Virr said.
Dumpster Depot developers and owners also will have a chance to be heard, Virr said.
The next meeting is set for Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.