DERRY — Last year, some neighbors said they didn't want rooftop seating at the Halligan Tavern.

A lawsuit followed and legal battles continue.

In May 2010, the Planning Board gave the Halligan Tavern a conditional approval for a rooftop seating area.

But the restaurant rooftop is still empty.

Several tavern neighbors object to having Halligan patrons on the roof at 32 West Broadway.

Abutters Barbara Woodward of Wilton-based Property Portfolio Group and local businessman Steve Trefethen both submitted appeals to the Zoning Board, saying planning decisions violated town zoning ordinances.

Zoners denied both appeals.

Woodward went on to sue the town over the restaurant plan.

A public hearing is now set for Oct. 10 for the Planning Board to consider revoking its prior conditional approval for the Halligan Tavern to allow customers on its roof.

Town Planning Director George Sioras said it's all part of the ongoing litigation process, but he could not elaborate further on details of the case.

"The courts have indicated to the town there should be a hearing held to see if (Halligan) conditions have been met," Sioras said.

Woodward owns and manages an apartment complex at 7 Central St., directly behind the Halligan Tavern.

Her lawsuit claims the town's past decisions granted "special privileges" to the restaurant's owners, causing "harm to innocent abutters" and lowering property values.

Trefethen owns Summerview Real Estate at 44 West Broadway and also handles residential properties near the tavern.

He said the rooftop plan would hurt the neighborhood and neighbors would be subject to loud noise.

"We've got to pay attention to the residents here," Trefethen told town officials.

Tavern co-owner Robert Moran said the Halligan is trying hard to be a good neighbor.

"We've done everything this town has asked," he said at a Planning Board meeting.

The Halligan Tavern was once a downtown firehouse, used by Derry firefighters until 2005.

The station was sold and renovated as the Firehall Pub and Grille. Firehall owners Robert and Bonnie Hall also fought legal battles with both Woodward and Trefethen while operating their restaurant.

The Firehall closed in 2007. The property was sold at foreclosure auction in the summer of 2009 and reopened as Halligan's Tavern in January 2010.

The public hearing is set for Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Derry Municipal Center's third-floor meeting room.

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