Planning Board Finalizes Zoning Ordinance Amendment

With most business at the July 13 Planning Board meeting either moved until next month or simply being administrative work, the bulk of the meeting was dedicated to updating the Londonderry Zoning Ordinance as it pertains to the use of motor homes and travel trailers.

In previous meetings, as recent as the board’s June 7 meeting, the town’s Code Enforcement Officer Richard Canuel worked closely with board members to update section of the ordinance, hoping to establish some regulatory provisions that were not previously available on the ordinance in reference to travel trailers and motor homes. Such an issue has led to enforcement conflicts in the past over residents keeping trailers on their properties for an extended period of time.

The amended section, as it was presented to the board, now reads, “No lot in the agricultural-residential (AR-I) district may be used for the outside storage of more than one unregistered motor vehicle (in accordance with RSA 236:92) or the outside storage of more than one boat, other than a rowboat, canoe or other boat less than 20 feet in length. At no time shall a motorhome, travel trailer (camper) or similar recreational vehicle be stored on a property in a manner such that a public nuisance be created as to sight, sound, smell, or any other action which would interfere with nearby property owner’s rights. A motorhome, travel trailer or similar recreational vehicle shall not be used as an accessory living space on any residential property in the AR-I district.”

Most of the board seemed to approve of the updated language, with Secretary Chris Davies stating, “I’m certainly comfortable with what you’ve come up with.” However, other members still had some concerns.

Member Ann Chiampa voiced her previous concerns from the June 7 meeting over how this would pertain to tiny homes, or a small, portable home that is typically 100 to 400 square feet in size. Canuel noted that a separate section of the ordinance already contains language that defines and regulates tiny homes.

Member Giovanni Verani also repeated his concerns from the June 7 meeting, worried about the ambiguity surrounding the idea of defining what exactly a nuisance could be defined as. Although Canuel seemed to agree, stating that “one man’s nuisance is another man’s music,” he felt that such concerns should be left to the town’s enforcement officer and his discretion.

But, despite these concerns, the board unanimously approved this updated language, although neither Chairman Arthur Rugg nor Vice Chair Mary Wing Soares were present for the meeting, leaving Chiampa to vote for Rugg and member Roger Fillio to vote for Soares.