Frost Road Subdivision Gets Planning Board Approval

The Derry Planning Board has given its approval to a lot line adjustment and three-lot subdivision on Frost Road.

Engineer Eric Mitchell appeared at the Feb. 3 Planning Board meeting on behalf of Richard and Sandra Salvo, owners of two lots on Frost Road.

The two lots are PID 03104-005 and 03104-005-001 and are 4.26 and 5.36 acres respectively. Mitchell said the Salvos want to move the lot line, placing the existing home on 2.1 acres, and sell the other parcel to Jim Taylor of New England Land Acquisitions LLC, who intends to develop the remaining eight acres into three 2-acre house lots.

The area is zoned Low to Medium Density Residential. Mitchell said each of the proposed lots has 150 feet of frontage and individual wells and septic.

Planning Vice-Chair John O’Connor said the proposal had been discussed in the Technical Review Committee (TRC) and Deputy Director of Public Works Tom Carrier raised the question of MTBE in the area.

In 2014, Derry was one of four New Hampshire towns deemed at risk for MTBE contamination, and free water testing was offered to owners of 478 properties in parts of Windham, Pelham, Derry and Londonderry.

MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether, is a gasoline additive classified as carcinogenic. It contaminates groundwater supplies as a result of fuel spills or leaks.

Mitchell said the applicant has spoken to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and was told that it was unlikely this site was contaminated. “Others in the neighborhood have been tested and the levels are diminishing,” Mitchell said, adding that Code Enforcement Director Bob Mackey told the applicant that no building permit would be issued until testing had been done.

“The applicant is well aware of the issue,” Mitchell said.

Board member Jim MacEachern pressed, “But is there an issue now? What is the current situation at that home? If they divide these two lots into four lots, it could multiply a problem.”

In the public hearing Danielle Allen, a resident of South Range Road and formerly of Frost Road, said that her property had been tested for MTBE. “It’s a few parts per billion,” she said. “It’s less than it could be but more than I’d like.”

Allen asked about access to the new lots from South Range Road and Mitchell said all the driveways were on Frost Road. “The main access is off Frost Road,” he said. While he couldn’t rule out situations where residents would access their properties from the rear, with a pickup truck or other sturdy vehicle, he said that would not be the norm.

Mitchell reiterated that the Salvos are planning to keep their home and lot and sell the rest of the property to Taylor.

“Will it be tax positive?” Allen asked.

MacEachern said there was no way of telling at this point. “It depends on the size of the houses and how many kids the families have,” he said.

The board voted 9-0 to approve the plan.