Perkins Road Resident Denied Auto Sales Request

By Alex Malm

During the May 17 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, the board heard a variance request to allow online retail vehicle sales and storage for a home occupation at 27 Perkins Road.
It was noted by Assistant Town Manager, Kellie Caron, that they needed to get a variance since they didn’t meet the criteria for a home occupation.
Owner, Donald Belisle, explained he was looking to be able to do online sales in the garage in the front of the property, which was used as a commercial building for a number of years.
The other presenter, Beth Murch, said she was looking to get a dealers license and to do so they need to have a place where cars can be stored and that the property fit the bill.
Belisle said the garage had been used for business purposes and he was looking to do the same.
“I’m just looking to use that space for extra income,” Belisle said.
Murch said they wouldn’t have any customers on the property and instead the cars would be either shipped or delivered.
“I just want to be able to get our dealer’s license,” Murch said.
Murch said they wouldn’t have any employees and they would be open for eight hours, five days a week as required by state law to have the dealer license.
Belisle said the only signage on the property would be what is required by law, which could be potentially a window sign.
Murch told the board they would likely only be selling a few at a time and would all be stored inside. When asked about work being done there, it was noted that they would generally be selling sought after vehicles and if anything needed to be done, they would be brought to a mechanic.
“We’re basically doing this more or less as a hobby,” Belisle said.
Jake Butler spoke in opposition of the variance raising concerns about the current site conditions, including things like dumpsters being on the property currently.
Belisle said he outgrew his business location in Merrimack and is in the process of moving it to Salem. He added that he was supposed to move there April 1, but instead it got pushed back to June 1.
He explained that he was trying to continue his company while he was getting his property in Salem and needed to store his equipment there. He said in the next couple of weeks anything for his Salem business would be moved off the property.
“This has nothing to do with the online sale of automobiles,” Belisle said.
Lynn Wiles also spoke during the meeting saying he had zoning concerns.
The board members couldn’t come to a consensus on how the property was unique and denied the variance request.

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