Zoning Board Denies Appeal of Administrative Decision

By Alex Malm

During the Dec. 15 Londonderry Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting Xavier and Kristen Correa Morales went to to the Board to appeal an administrative decision from Nick Codner, Chief Building Inspector regarding the interpretation of what the side or rear yard location should be considered for an accessory dwelling unit, at 126 Old Derry Road.

Xavier explained that his lot is very unique since they are a corner lot with three surrounding streets.

He said that in order to have a detached accessory dwelling unit he needs to have it behind the main residence or on the side of it.

In his presentation to the Board he explained that his front door looks onto Old Derry Road and his garage which essentially would be the accessory dwelling unit is on the side of Manter Mill road.

He said that they think it’s technically on the side and in the back of the main residence.

Codner explained that when they determine it they base it on the relationship to the frontage on the actual road.

“The reason we do that is so it’s fair and consistent,” he said.

Codner explained that based on that standard the owners of the property have three front yards and side yard, which the owners were disputing.

Codner also explained that they can’t use the configuration of the house to determine the side, front, or backyards.

The Board ultimately thought that Codner’s decision was correct and therefore the Board voted unanimously 4-0 in favor of denying the appeal.

This led the owners to seek two variances. One to allow an accessory dwelling unit in the front yard and to allow an accessory dwelling unit 108 square feet over what is allowed.

Xavier explained that they want to build the accessory dwelling unit on their property so his elderly in-laws can have a place to live.

Xavier said that if they aren’t able to build the accessory dwelling unit on their property it would be a hardship for them because they won’t be able to use the property for all it could be used for.

“We won’t be able to use the property to its full potential or what we want to use it for,” he said.

He said that they won’t be changing the exterior of the house in any way.

Xavier said that the addition of the garage was built in the early 2000s but wasn’t permitted as an accessory dwelling unit at the time.

He explained that the accessory dwelling unit would be 815 square feet, and would only be used for their family members to stay and not as a commercial use.

“It’s an in-law,” said Xavier.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment ultimately approved the two variances with a 4-0 vote.

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