Planning Board Votes No on Rezoning Near Rail Trail

By Alex Malm

During the Wednesday, Oct. 5, Planning Board meeting, members heard a rezoning request by Gizmo Enterprises, LLC who was looking for a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the property at 4 Commercial Lane. The lot abuts the Londonderry Rail Trail and has material encroaching the trail currently.
It was explained by Bob Carey, who was representing the owner, that they wanted to rezone it from agriculture commercial to a commercial one lot.
He explained the owner has owned it since 2004 and uses it to store equipment, sand, and gravel for the business.
Carey explained that recently they became aware they have encroached onto the Londonderry Rail Trail, which is owned by the State and it needs to be rezoned.
He said since the state and town don’t have to follow zoning regulations it wouldn’t impact them.
It was explained by Carey they have made improvements to the site recently.
“It’s a business he’s spent a significant amount of money to improve lately,” said Carey.
Carey added he thinks it’s a reasonable request from a longtime business.
“He’s limited in what he can do in that lot because it’s above the ground septic,” said Carey.
Carey explained there are other businesses that also approach the corridors.
It was asked by Planning Board Chair, Arthur Rugg, that if the other businesses have expressed concerns.
“I think we are the ones that are taking on the initiative,” said Carey.
Carey stated that instead of rezoning the 1.5 acres originally requested they would be willing to just rezone the front of the property where the encroachment is taking place.
Planning Board member, Jeff Penta, said that a future property owner could take advantage of it and it also opens themselves up to other businesses along the Rail Trail that want to get rezoned.
“I would not want to see that type of encroachment be impacted,” said Penta.
Planning Board member, Ann Chiampa, said she doesn’t think it’s right to eliminate the landscaping buffering.
“People use it and they appreciate it,” said Chiampa.
Londonderry Trailways President, Bob Rimol, said they have no problem with the rezoning, saying they didn’t even know they were encroaching until it was brought up. He added that he expects that there are other businesses in the same situation
Rugg said he is concerned that it’s not consistent with the use of the rail trail.
“People that use it like the beauty of it,” said Rugg.
The Planning Board ultimately voted to make an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council.

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