The Derry Planning Board will not allow a rehearing of the application acceptance and site plan review for a proposed Dumpster Depot headquarters on Ashleigh Drive.
Following a request for an appeal by Greenwich Road resident Brenda Wilson, the board voted 2 in favor and 4 against the reconsideration.
David Paul is proposing to move his Dumpster Depot headquarters from Manchester to Derry and to store up to 350 Dumpsters on the property.
The board voted 5-2 at its Aug. 21 meeting to allow the project to proceed (See related story page 1).
Planning Director George Sioras said the request for reconsideration must be voted on by the members who had done the original vote in August, and the motion must be made by anyone who voted “yes” on the plan.
Member Frank Mazzuchelli made the motion to reconsider. “I feel they should have something to say if the applicant had something to say,” Mazzuchelli said. Sioras said the motion must be seconded by someone who had voted Aug. 21, and Ann Alongi seconded it.
The vote was by six members because Al Dimmock, who voted Aug. 21, was absent.
Alongi and Mazzuchelli voted yes on the reconsideration. Frank Bartkiewicz, Jan Choiniere, Randy Chase and Granese voted no.
Chase said, “I feel the board gave this project more than usual consideration. We thought long and hard.”
Granese said, “We had a lot of meetings and followed the laws and procedures.”
Sioras said the opponents’ next avenue of recourse was the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Superior Court.
Point and counterpoint
Prior to the vote, Wilson read her reasons for filing the appeal and Granese refuted them.
WIlson said, “This letter is based on the June 19 meeting. Conditions were made which included hours of operation and no full Dumpsters. The Town Administrator argued for these conditions and Mr. Paul said they were a ‘deal-breaker.’ The applicant said he needed to have time to think, and Mr. Anderson said, ‘If you want to operate in Derry, bring back empty Dumpsters.’”
When they came back in August, Wilson said, the conditions had changed.
Granese countered that the continuation from June 19 was not just to allow the applicant to think, but to allow the board to think. He said, “I stated at the time that the meeting would be only to discuss the pending motion and that there would be no further public input.”
Wilson said when Chris Tymula, Paul’s engineer, presented the project, he quoted New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) regulations that allowed waste in covered containers to remain on a property for up to four days. Wilson charged that Tymula didn’t quote the rest of the statute, which read that waste should not be stored “in conditions that would adversely affect the environment, public health and safety.”
She also said that the facility was a “transfer facility” which is not allowed in the Industrial III zone.
Granese said the facility is not a transfer station and requires no permit from DES.
Wilson said when Paul and Tymula appeared before the Conservation Commission, they stated the Dumpsters would be empty. Granese responded, “The Conservation Commission has already approved this.” At Monday night’s council meeting, however, Conservation member Paul Doolittle said the Dumpster Depot proponents told the commission the Dumpsters would be empty.
Wilson said the facility has been approved as a “contractor’s yard,” but the definition for “contractor’s yard” for the I-III zone was eliminated in May 2012.
But Granese said while the definition for “contractor’s yard” had been deleted, the board amended the ordinance in June 2012 and “contractor’s yard” is listed under Commercial Service Establishments because it is analogous to “freight and trucking terminal.”
Wilson quoted RSA 674:44 and the Derry zoning ordinance to state that the town and state took the position of “guarding against conditions that are detrimental to residents’ health, safety and prosperity.”
Granese responded, “If we thought this was going to be a nuisance, we wouldn’t have approved it.”
Wilson referenced the May site walk, saying the minutes had not been published. Granese said the minutes are published as a courtesy, and that Planning Assistant Elizabeth Robidoux had been out of the office with an illness during that period.
Granese also defended the decision to continue the meeting, quoting a New Hampshire Local Government Center law lecture stating that “With complex cases that close late in the evening, an argument can be made that they be continued.” And he defended the board’s decision to let Paul and Tymula speak in the Aug. 21 meeting. “How else can the board make an informed decision?” he asked.
Planning Board Vice-Chair John O’Connor, a resident of the neighborhood in question, recused himself from the discussion and vote.