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November 8, 2012

Crystal Avenue business plan moves ahead

DERRY — A plan to bring new retail space to Crystal Avenue is one step closer.

Zoning Board of Adjustment members granted a variance to Crystal Realty Associates to allow construction of a building no closer than 48 feet to a proposed new wetland limit where 75 feet is the requirement.

The building would be part of a new retail plan at 23 Crystal Ave.

The Crystal Place plan would take the former Standard Sash and Door building and surrounding land and redevelop it into a mixed-use complex with retail stores, a free-standing restaurant and other businesses.

The 5 1/2-acre property is owned by the Derderian family, who bought the land in 1970 and began a wood product operation.

The operation moved to a bigger facility on B Street, Merrimack Valley Wood Products, which closed its doors in 2010.

As part of the new project, the old Crystal Avenue building would be taken down.

Jim Derderian said the Crystal Avenue site is good for the community. The location is right across the street from St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Parishioners currently use the old factory area for parking on Sundays.

"We want to co-exist with the whole area," Derderian said.

Lori Vancuren of nearby Lennox Road said she had worries about the area if Derderian moved forward.

"My property values will be affected," she said.

Vancuren also said additional traffic snarls would fill Crystal Avenue, an already congested part of town.

Planning director George Sioras said Derderian's plan will require additional scrutiny as part of the site plan process.

Officials voted, 5-0, to grant the variance.

"If it's done right and as presented, it's going to look outstanding," Zoning Board Chairman Alan Virr said. "We would like to see Mr. Derderian move forward with this."





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