Derry Zoning Board Holds Joint Meeting Over Wetlands Exception

By Paul Conyer

The Derry Zoning Board of Adjustment met for its meeting on July 21 in a joint session with the Planning and Conservation Committees. Planning Board member, John O’Connor, oversaw the meeting.
Local residents, Keith and Julie Coviello, were the applicants. The couple looks to expand their property with a shed near Beaver Lake.
The combined nature of the meeting reflected the issue at hand, regarding an exception to town regulations designed to protect the surrounding wetland and the sensitive environment areas around the lake. Orchard Drive runs up against an area designated as a “prime wetland” according to O’Connor, requiring special permission from the town for construction.
“Prime wetlands are one of 29 protected in the town that has been designated, they have their own chapter in the Zoning Ordinance,” Code Enforcement Director, Robert Mackey, said detailing the need for a joint meeting over the construction of a shed. The area around Beaver Lake is one of the “designated prime wetlands” given additional legal protection, requiring special permission for new construction. Any damage to the wetland would drain into the lake.
“There will be minimal impact to the surrounding environment” Keith stated, promising that “the disturbed area outside of the shed location will be reclaimed with a vegetable garden and various shrubs.”
Keith had already purchased a shed for the property, starting construction before learning of his need for a special exemption.
Board member, James Dietzel, had a few concerns regarding the crushed stone base proposed by the Coviello’s for their shed.
“In the event that there’s some sort of spillage of gasoline or oil or something, it’s going right into the crushed stone. What’s going to prevent that from seeping into the crushed stone and going into the wetlands?”
Keith noted that he plans to install a secondary plywood base above the gravel to prevent any possible spill from going into the local environment. He had no desire to run water or electricity to the shed due to complications in the permit request and the extra work needed.
Richard Tripp had several questions regarding the garden around the shed, although other members mentioned that the discussed exemption only applies to the shed, not the surrounding garden.
No members of the public came to the meeting in support or opposition to the Coviello project.
The joint committee agreed that despite the placement of a shed on prime wetlands, there was no real alternative for Keith and Julie. The Orchard Drive property is located next to the Beaver
Lake wetlands, with no real possibility of relocating the shed. The Zoning Board unanimously approved the exception for the shed and garden.
The next meeting of the Derry Zoning Board of Adjustment with be on Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.