Derry Zoning Board Denies Car Dealership Variance

By Alex Malm

During the Sept. 16 Derry Zoning Board meeting the Board heard a case regarding a possible special exception for Galco Properties, which is owned by Tarkpor Aloysius Mamia.
He explained that he was seeking permission to have a small automobile dealership located at 26 Kendall Pond Road, which isn’t allowed in the zone.
Mamia told the Board that he is a Derry resident and wants to establish a small business and bring new economic opportunity to the town.
One thing that he emphasized is that he would only be able to have three to five cars on display at a time out front because of the amount of capital he has. He said that in total he would have no more than 10 at a time at the dealership and the ones not on display would be parked in the extra spaces.
“Because of starting capital I don’t intend that there will be more than three to five cars parked outside for display at one time,” he said.
Although, there would be the possibility that he would one day have more capital to have more inventory he explained that if that were to be the case then it would mean he had outgrown the space and would have to get a bigger location.
“We would definitely relocate,” he said.
He also explained that the property was previously used for a construction company and explained that he didn’t think it would have much more impact on the community by having a car dealership since they would have similar amount of vehicles parked in the parking lot at one time and since most people search for cars online first that they wouldn’t have too many people coming in to look at a time.
It was explained by Robert Mackey, the Code Enforcement Officer for the Town that the property was previously in an industrial zone and it is now located in a medium density residential zone.
Because of this it means that the Board had to determine and vote on if the proposal would be a more appropriate or as appropriate use for the zone as the construction business was.
During the meeting multiple abutters and others who live in the area spoke against having a car dealership located there.
Michelle Paris, who lives on the next street over said that she didn’t think the location, would be appropriate to have a car dealership.
“I am for small businesses. I want to see Derry grow. I want to see businesses do great but this is not the location for this type of business,” she said.
Her main concern is because of the amount of traffic that is already in the area. She said that currently she and others have a hard time turning out on her street and have to go down a different street instead due to the traffic.
Paris also pointed out that if they had a car dealership there then they would have to test drive the vehicles meaning that there would be even more traffic in the area.
“Where are they going to test drive them, are they going to drive them around our neighborhood,” she said.
Nick Sands, who lives up the street, said that he also had similar concerns with there being a lot of traffic in the area and thinks that the increase in traffic from a potential car dealership could be problematic.
After hearing from Mamia along with the abutters the Board felt that putting a car dealership on the property instead of a construction company wouldn’t be as appropriate.
Derry Zoning Board Chairman Lynn Perkins said that not only would it be a non-conforming use it would also have an impact on the surrounding community.
“I think overall the community has respected your desires, it’s just that it’s not fitting in their eyes for this location,” he said.
The Board ultimately voted unanimously against the special exception.
The next Derry Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting is slated for Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.