Hearing Postponed After Failure to Notify Correct Abutters

A Derry homeowner and entrepreneur will have to wait at least another month before learning if he can park his tractor-trailer rig at his home on Fordway Road.

Shawn Moreau, owner of 60 Fordway, came before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) March 19 to request a special exception in order to operate an in-home business and to park his truck on his property. However, when the board discussed the notifying of abutters, it was discovered that the notice of the meeting had been sent to a condominium association that no longer represented the residents, and the hearing was postponed until the residents could be notified through their correct address.

The property is PID 24011 and is zoned MHDR (medium high density residential).

Moreau read off the conditions for a special exception, including:

• Will not be injurious, noxious or offensive, with no odor, dust, smoke, vibration or noise. Moreau said the tractor-trailer is no nosier than his F 150 truck and the only noise is in the morning when it warms up for 15 minutes.

• Will not change the residential character of the neighborhood. Moreau said he leaves for the Boston Port Authority at 7 a.m. and returns anywhere between 5 and 7 p.m. The truck does not operate on Saturdays or Sundays, he said.

• Not more than one sign, 3 square feet in size. There will be no sign, Moreau said.

• Sufficient off-street parking. There will be no employees, just the truck, he said.

• No more than one home business. “It’s just me and the truck,” Moreau said.

Moreau said the truck first became an issue when he was parking close to the street and was told he was blocking the stop sign. He started parking in his driveway, which is 100 feet long. The truck, he said, is 35 feet long and there is ample room to park it.

“I own half an acre. I could put another whole house on it,” Moreau said.

“My Ford F250 diesel is louder than the truck I’m asking to be able to park,” he said.

He agreed that there was a problem with the compressor in the past, causing noise when he heated up the truck, but that has been fixed, Moreau said.

“It starts for 10 minutes and I’m gone,” Moreau said.

Moreau said he is a contractor with the Federal government, delivering cargo from the airport and shipyard.

He is not using more than the required 25 percent of his home for an office, noting that the house is 1,780 square feet and the desk takes up a 2×4-foot space.

Vice-chair Allan Virr asked Code Enforcement Officer Bob Mackey if commercial vehicles were allowed in residential areas. Mackey said there was nothing specific in the zoning.

“It boils down to, what is a normal family use? A van? A box truck? When do you cross the line?” Mackey asked.

Member Steve Coppolo asked Mackey what would be considered an accessory use. “A boat, an RV,” Mackey said.

Alternate member Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien asked if Moreau could park the truck in his garage. But Moreau said the garage was only one story high and not big enough. “If you give me till summer I’ll build a bigger garage,” Moreau said. “If a garage would make this all go away.”

Moreau said he owns or has owned several other properties in Derry and has pulled all the proper permits.

In the public comment portion John Moore, president of the Bunker Estates condo association, said the association never received notification of the hearing. It was determined that the letter of notification had been sent to another entity that had previously represented the organization.

The board agreed to postpone the hearing until all the abutters, including the condo association, were properly notified.

The agenda had originally had the wrong names for the owners of the property, and Moreau said he was frustrated at the mistakes.

Virr responded, “We were working off the documents provided to us.”

When Moreau expressed frustration, Chairman Lynn Perkins said, “If we pass this without proper notification, you’ll be back here anyway.

“We are following state statute,” Perkins said.