The Derry Planning Board will do a site walk of the proposed Dumpster Depot site off Ashleigh Drive, after residential abutters raised several concerns.
Chris Tymula, an engineer representing Accurate Transport Inc., the owners of Dumpster Depot, presented the project May 1 to the board along with owner David Paul.
The parcel in question is 41 Ashleigh Drive, Parcel ID 08017, and is zoned I-IV.
Tymula said Paul plans to move from his Manchester facility to Derry, and to build a 7,200-square-foot office and maintenance building. A storage area will hold up to 350 Dumpsters, he said. There will be 18 parking spaces for customers and employees, and seven parking spaces for vehicles to offload and pick up Dumpsters.
Stormwater runoff will be handled by both closed-and open-drain systems, he said. There will also be a treatment swale to the east and a detention basin. “No sediment will wash down the stream,” he said.
Electric and gas utilities will be underground, Tymula said. Tymula said the distance from the Dumpsters to the nearest abutting home, on Greenwich Avenue, would be 900 feet.
But it was too close for comfort for the abutters at the hearing. Eight to 10 residents of Greenwich, Donmac and Arrowhead came out to express their feelings.
“Is this an exercise in futility?” resident David Fisher asked. “It’s a disgusting project that will destroy the neighborhood.” While Tymula said there would be a complete vegetative buffer, Fisher contended that “there are about three trees there.”
Fisher worried about garbage and vermin making their way from the Depot to the neighborhood. “You don’t think rats could walk a quarter of a mile?” he asked the board.
In answer to a question from Philip Sykes of 6 Donmac, Tymula and Paul said the facility would be only for storage, and no materials would be transferred on site.
Paul emphasized that 83 percent of the materials that go into his Dumpsters are construction debris, from homes or businesses. Seventeen percent is miscellaneous, old clothing or household articles. He reiterated that he does not accept food waste or other garbage.
“I am really upset,” Brenda Wilson of Greenwich Road said. “I live off Bypass 28, not Route 28. But Route 28 is now in my back yard. I can see the lights from Hannaford from my yard.” Resident John Meyer asked about hours of operation, and Paul said containers are picked up and delivered from about 5:30 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m., five days a week.
Meyer also asked about lights. Tymula said there would be two light poles in the front, two in the back, and all lighting would be “downcast.” He further said that the pavement for the proposed facility is 25 feet lower than the abutters’ properties.
Meyer asked if about putting up a fence. Planning Board member John O’Connor will recuse himself from the discussion and vote on the Depot, as he is also an abutter. He was out of the country at the time of the meeting, but sent an e-mail with several questions: “Will they be washing the Dumpsters on site? Will there be a review by Public Works or an environmental engineer?” O’Connor expressed concern that runoff could contain lead paint or asbestos. He also wanted to make sure the container doors were tightly fitted, so there would be no standing water leaking out and contributing to EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) or West Nile virus.
“If I get favorable answers to these, I have no problem with the project,” O’Connor concluded. The public hearing closed, and the board asked Tymula and Paul more questions. Chairman David Granese asked, “What if there’s a freezer full of spoiled food?” Paul said a freezer would be checked and dumped before being brought back to Derry. In addition, he said, “We do not accept paint in our Dumpsters.”
Board member Jim MacEachern told the abutters, “There is always going to be someone abutting an industrial zone. It is what it is.” He added that he didn’t intend to appear callous to their concerns, but that buffer zones were created to protect abutters. MacEachern continued, “The Planning Board’s job is to start with an answer of ‘yes.’ If the application meets all our requirements, the board has a legal obligation to vote yes.”
It’s different from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, MacEachern added, explaining, “They start with ‘no,’ and it’s the applicant’s job to convince the board that they deserve a ‘yes.’” MacEachern recommended a site walk, “so we can see what we can do to help both sides.” The board voted to hold a site walk Saturday, May 11, and to continue the public hearing to the May 15 meeting.