DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

September 26, 2013

Londonderry zoners deny home business plan

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — An Arrowhead Drive couple was denied a special exception last week to move a home-based business into a garage they are planning to build.

Mary Ferris and Martin Meehan of 2 Arrowhead Drive asked the Zoning Board to grant the special exception so they could operate their business in a new shed.

In June, zoners granted a variance to the couple allowing them to operate their business in their garage area or basement.

That variance included putting soundproofing measures in place.

Meehan told zoners last week the shed would be a better location for the business and it would cost less to make sure noise was kept to a minimum.

“We decided to come back to the Zoning Board to allow us to do that,” Meehan said.

But the new plan generated concern and went against what the zoning ordinance allows for home business.

The couple’s business is a home-based design and small craft item venture. Items would only be sold at craft fairs and through online transactions, with no sales or other business done at the Arrowhead Drive location.

Meehan wanted to move the business into a new shed because it would cost less than soundproofing the garage and basement area.

There is no reason the couple can’t build a shed, officials said. It’s having a home business located there that might be the snag.

Sherrill Atherton-Crow lives at 3 Arrowhead Drive and said she would like to see the business moved somewhere else, not in her neighborhood.

“It’s a residential area,” she said. “I think adding a building for business purposes would change the character of the neighborhood and affect the resale of our homes.”

Crow said her home is her nest egg.

Board members said the original variance stands for the home business, with some rewording done to make sure soundproofing is in place to keep noise levels within a proper decibel level.

“These are the legal documents we have to go by,” Neil Dunn said.