Variance Granted by Zoning Board for Used Car Showroom

A pair of local entrepreneurs will be allowed to sell motor vehicles out of their showroom on Tinkham Avenue after a vote by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).
Phil Littore and Larry Ouellette, owners of White Knuckle Enterprises LLC, appeared before the board Sept. 19 to request a variance to Article VI, Section 165-42.A and 165-42.C of the zoning ordinance. The parcel is owned by Kachanian Realty Trust and is Parcel ID 35015-011 and is zoned Industrial IV. The property is at 8 Tinkham Ave. White Knuckle Enterprises occupies 10,000 square feet.

Littore read off the conditions for a variance and how he and his partner think their request fit them. The variance would not be contrary to the public interest, he said, because the use is consistent with other current uses in the district. The project will meet state and local building codes.
“The area is Industrial IV and the property is surrounded on all sides by commercial and industrial uses,” he said.
Littore said “substantial justice” would be done because the proposed use is allowed in the adjacent General Commercial district. The value of the property and surrounding properties would not diminish, he said, because the usage is consistent with surrounding businesses.
The business currently provides preventive maintenance and general sales of customized ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), motorcycles and snowmobiles, Littore said. They also service FedEx trucks. 
They wanted to expand to motor vehicle sales, he said, because sometimes a customer wants to trade an unneeded car for a recreational vehicle, and they want to be able to resell them.
Board member Teresa Hampton asked if the change would involve any extra fire safety precautions and Littore said he didn’t think so.
Member David Thompson asked where the cars taken in trade would be stored. Littore said they would be stored inside the building.
Chairman Allan Virr said the variance is needed because of a zoning change last year prohibiting sales of motor vehicles in the I-IV district. “We wanted to prevent a situation like Ryan’s Hill,” he said, referring to the large number of used car lots on Route 28 South.
“That’s almost more cars than we have on the road in Derry,” Virr said of Ryan’s Hill.
Virr noted that White Knuckle Enterprises already has a variance to do repairs inside the facility.
“The problem is when people bring cars in to trade, we can’t take them,” Ouellette said.
Their landlord, Derek Kachanian of Windham, spoke in favor of the variance, noting that the two men run a clean operation.
Virr asked about carbon monoxide. Kachanian said his tenants use a system called AirMax, which takes out the bad air and brings in the good.
As the property is at the end of a dead-end street, Virr and the board discussed allowing Littore and Ouellette to display a limited number of vehicles outside. They settled on two.
Virr and the board drafted a list of conditions for the variance, including:
• No outside washing of vehicles;
• No outside repairs;
• Obtaining all necessary state and town permits;
• Using a water reclamation system for all inside washing;
• Allowing environmental cleaning mats to be inspected;
• No parking on the road or in drainage swales; and
• No more than two vehicles displayed outside during normal working hours.
The board voted 5-0 to grant the variance.

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