Derry Zoning Rejects Plan on Franklin Street Condos

By Alex Malm

The Derry Zoning Board of Adjustment heard a case on April 7, for a proposal to build three condos at 16 Franklin Street during their April 7 meeting.
Representing the owner was Steve Keach. He said that they are seeking a variance to put the three unit condos up with it being further than zero feet from the front property line and five feet from the side property line.
Since it is located in the TBOD it isn’t allowed to be more than zero feet away from the property line.
Keach said that by granting the variance they would allow for a multifamily home to be built a safe distance away from the roadway.
He said that while the property is located in the TBOD there are other homes in the neighborhood that would be the same distance away from the road.
It was explained by Keach that by having it zero feet away from the property line it would cause issues during the winter months because of where it is located.
He also said that because it is on the intersection of two roads it creates a site distance issue.
Keach explained that they previously were granted a variance to build the three family home there and when they spoke to town staff about their site plan it was suggested that they seek a variance particularly because there were concerns about the site distance at the intersection. He said that if they put it where they are proposing it would no longer be an issue.
Another concern that was discussed about having it too close to the property line is that cars would have to back straight out onto Franklin Street.
The owner of the property Muhammad Asim Ghani said that by having ample space for parking they will be able to stay on their property while they are backing out onto Franklin Street rather backing straight out on to the street.
Zoning Board member Donald Burgess said that he thinks that is a better plan.
“This is better planning,” said Burgess.
Code Enforcement Director Robert Mackey said that when they discussed the plan no one liked the idea of having cars back out onto Franklin Street.
Zoning Board Vice Chair Craig Corbett said that while he thought it was a better proposal than the original one discussed he didn’t like the idea of granting a second waiver for it being non conforming.
“I see both sides,” said Corbett.
Chairman Lynn Perkins said he wasn’t in favor of it.
“I’m not so keen on this request,” said Perkins.
Burgess said that the parking situation is better with the proposal which was previously his biggest concern.
“The parking situation seems to be better,” said Burgess.
The ZBA voted to reject the variance with Corbett, Perkins, and member Crystal Morin voting against the variance.