DERRY — The Zoning Board has given approval for a motorcycle business to set up shop on Manchester Road.
William and Sarah Basnett, owners of Rick's Motorcycle Enterprise, Inc., were granted a variance at a meeting Jan. 17 to operate the business and sell used motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles at 22 Manchester Road, Unit #1.
The site is currently the Napa Auto Parts business. That business will be moving to a new location.
To be considered for a variance, Rick's owners had to respond to five zoning criteria that deal with why the variance should be granted, including whether the plan might disrupt neighbors, or impact nearby property values.
That location is currently listed as Industrial IV in the town's zoning ordinance.
Sarah Basnett told zoning officials that taking over the 22 Manchester Road space would support the business and would be a good fit for that part of Derry.
She said Rick's Motorcycle Enterprise has been in existence for about 40 years and she and her husband have been owners since 2004.
As part of the move to the new Derry location, Sarah said the business would remain small, with only a few motorcycles or other vehicles on display inside.
"We're not looking to be a car lot, or a motorcycle lot," she said.
Once the move is made into the former auto store, hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Hours may expand, Rick's owners said.
Not everyone was pleased with the variance plan.
Michael Driscoll came before the board representing several other business owners who operate out of the 22 Manchester Road plaza-style location. There are a total of 14 condo units being utilized for various businesses, he said.
"Zoning doesn't allow this type of sales now," Driscoll said. "If you give a variance, doesn't it set a precedent for others to come in?"
The town's zoning rules welcome a variety of uses to the Industrial IV zone including manufacturing, restaurants, retail sales, indoor commercial recreational, wireless communications and warehouse use.
Right now, the complex houses a wide range of businesses, from pool supplies, to water testing, a tool and die business, auto sales, and office space. Auto sales are prohibited in the zone.
Driscoll added granting the variance would go against the condo documents and bylaws of that location, adding seven of the 14 business owners are against the plan.
In the end, the board unanimously approved the variance, 5-0.