Auto Wholesaler Home Business Gets Zoning Approval

A Derry resident will be allowed to operate an auto wholesaling business from his home, after a positive review from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). Elie N. Touma appeared before the board June 20 to ask for a special exception to the zoning laws in order to operate an auto sales business from his home at 5 Old Chester Road.

The property is Parcel ID 09114 and is zoned LMDR (Low Medium Density Residential).
Touma read the 10 conditions for a special exception, including:
• The property is his legal residence and residential use was established prior to the request for a special exception.
• The proposed business will not be “injurious, noxious or offensive.” Touma said he would not be storing any vehicles at the home.
• It will not exceed 25 percent of the home. Touma said the area he plans to use is 10 square feet of a 2,500-square-foot home.
• There will not be more than one sign, not more than 3 square feet in size.
• Not more than one person will be employed. Touma said he is the sole employee.
• There will be sufficient off-street parking. Touma said he would not be receiving customers at the home.
• There will not be more than one business in the home.
• It is not contrary to the deeds and covenants on the property.

Touma told the board that his business involves buying vehicles from auctions or dealers, taking them to a repair facility, then reselling them to auctions or dealers. He will not store the vehicles at his home, he said, explaining he has a repair shop in Methuen, Mass.

At this time, he said, he has no plans for a sign. This is a typical request, Code Enforcement Officer Bob Mackey said, adding, “We see a few of these every year.” Mackey said one condition of the approval could be no vehicles stored or displayed on the property.

Chairman Allan Virr added “no signage was requested,” and told Touma if he did decide to put up a sign, he would have to come back to the board. Virr also suggested adding “subject to all state licensing.”
The board voted 5-0 to grant the special exception, with member Lynn Perkins saying, “This applicant was proactive on covering all his points.”