Drainage Concerns Raised at Subdivision Hearing at ZBA

By Henrey Greenbaum

DERRY – The Derry Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) met at the Derry Municipal Center on Thurs. May 20.

The first order of business was the hearing for a variance application in the town ordinance. Said application would allow for a property owned by Golden Acres Land Trust, Red Tundra, LLC to be split into two lots. One of the proposed lots, however, would have less than the required area, frontage, and lot width.

Melissa Giuffrida presented the application to the ZBA. “This is a lot of record containing 5.8 acres of land with approximately 290 feet of frontage,” said Giuffrida. “Lots adjacent to this land have similar or less frontage and land area than what we are proposing.”

The lot would be split up to allow for a new residential home to be built, but it would also be the largest home in the neighborhood. Approving the variance would allow for the home to be built without having to meet the required frontage and area. Giuffrida claimed in her testimony that the lot would meet all other requirements for the town zoning ordinance.

The ZBA opened up the floor to the public to give their opinions on the application. Neil Hidder and his wife Gail Hidder (who live on a property that shares a line with the proposed lot) came forward and asked the ZBA some questions they had. “There is an entire length of the property that slopes downward and towards the back [of the lot], but it takes a sharp drop into my yard,” said Neil Hidder. “That is my big concern, the drainage.”

The Hidders were concerned that all the drainage from a rainstorm on the proposed property would spill out into their yard and ruin the property. A slope that starts from the proposed lot goes right into their property causing the drainage to crossover into it.

Joe Maynard of Benchmark Engineering said, “From a drainage perspective, I am more than happy to meet with the abutter and go over what can be done for options. I can put something on our subdivision plans that would mitigate any potential drainage that would go into their direction.

After some deliberation over the proposed subdivision of one lot into two, the ZBA unanimously approved the application but they had some conditions to go with it. There are three conditions that the owners must meet. One is to obtain all town permits and inspections. Another is that it must be approved by the Derry Planning Board. The last condition is that the house that is to be built beyond the 200-foot setback line must only be applied to the proposed lot.

The ZBA also had a hearing for an application that would allow for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) within an existing, detached garage on a property owned by the Gutry family. Essentially, the Gutrys want to turn the garage into a second home for someone to live in. The ZBA voted unanimously to approve the creation of the ADU on the Gutrys’ family property.

The Derry Zoning Board of Adjustments will meet again at the Derry Municipal Center on Jun. 3.

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