Citizen’s Bank Property Seeks Variances From Zoning Board for Overhaul

A familiar banking location on Route 102 in Londonderry is looking to undergo several alterations, but first had to go through the Zoning Board of Adjustments during their latest meeting on Jan. 17.

During a nearly seven hour meeting, the applicant for the case, NH Six Realty Trust, and their attorney, Morgan Hollis, put four separate cases before the board that would ask for five different variances on 42 Nashua Road, which currently contains a Citizens Bank. Of these five variances, two involves encroachment with the right-of-way of the surrounding roads, one which involves encroachment of perimeter green space and the last two of which involve signage.

According to Hollis, the property owners feel that their current property, which stands at around five thousand square feet in size, is unnecessarily large for one building.  Thus, they are hoping to move the bank to the corner of the property facing Nashua Road, while adding a ConvenientMD medical center and a retail space in the opposite corners. But from the get-go, Board Chair Neil Dunn had issues with the change and its appearance.

“It looks like we’re trying to put too much on this lot,” Dunn noted.

Concerning the first two variances, which needed to produce buildings twenty eight feet and thirty two and a half feet from the right of way on Michael Way respectively, Hollis argued that lacking the encroachment they required would caused major issues for drivers entering and exiting the area, which the applicants have already considered by having their plans take into account potential future expansions of Michaels Way.

“Almost every site will have a driveway and as traveling motorists approach that entry, they need to have good visibility of cars coming and going”, Hollis noted.

Furthermore, Hollis argued that the changes would allow for easier development on the property, as well as easy recognition of each building, instead of just the parking.

Although some board members initially were confused about the overall purpose of the revamp, other members, including Suzanne Brunelle, felt that the placement of the new buildings was well thought out, eventually leading to the granting of the first two variances unanimously.

Moving on to the next variance, the applicants sought seventeen feet of encroachment in a thirty feet zone along Route 102 and four feet of encroachment in a fifteen feet zone along the property’s private way, both for perimeter green space. Hollis argued that these changes would actually allow for an improvement of the established perimeter green space and decrease non-compliant parking spaces.

The board ultimately decided to deny the first encroachment along Rt. 102, but grant the second one.

The final two variances applied specifically to the ConvenientMD medical center being placed on the property.  The two variances asked for three signs on the building in an area where only two are allowed, as well as four hundred and eighty six square feet of signage where only fifty square feet of signage are allowed.

The applicants argued the seemingly excessive signage was necessary, as those under significant stress from illness or an injury have a harder time locating their buildings, making it helpful to them to provide these larger signs. However, the board only approved the use of three signs on the building, denying them the right to use almost five hundred square feet of signage.

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