Zoning Board OKs Nutfield Publishing Move Request

On Wednesday, June 20, the Londonderry Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) met to discuss five different cases, ranging from requests for home occupation of a family daycare to the building of a new horse barn.

The first case then began, with the request being from owners and applicants Chris and Deb Paul for a special exception from Londonderry Zoning Ordinance 3.1.2 to allow a home occupation for their newspaper publishing business, Nutfield Publishing, at 118 Hardy Road.

The Pauls are being asked to leave the 2 Litchfield Road property they currently operate their business from and are hoping to begin running it out of their home. Because the Pauls and their daughter are the only employees that work out of the office and no renovations will need to be made to the home, Mr. Paul did not see how the move would have an adverse effect on the neighborhood.

“We foresee only having to use about 300-400 square feet of the house,” Paul explained. “Most of the work we’re going to be doing is on phones and computers. We don’t get a lot of people that walk into the business…every now and then, someone will bring in a hand-written letter that they want to put in the papers.” Therefore, there will not be any additional traffic going in and out of their home.

The board did not have any comments or concerns, and it was asked if anyone in the audience was in favor. Martha Smith of Londonderry spoke in support of the application, explaining that she did not see any reason that the move should not happen.

“Their product, The Londonderry Times, is a very valuable resource to our town,” Smith said. Ann Champa, also of Londonderry, seconded this statement, and no one in the audience was opposed.

The case then went into deliberation, and the application was approved, with all five members voting in favor.

The third case was a request by William and Kathleen Dentremont for a variance from Londonderry Zoning Ordinance to allow a pool to encroach 7 feet into a 15-foot side setback at 30 Hall Road.

The Dentremonts have had the pool since 2012, but William, who uses it for therapeutic purposes, explained that he was unaware that he needed a permit until recently. Upon learning about the permit, he also learned that the pool is too close to the house. However, he had already built a patio structure near it, and it would be expensive to have it all moved.

“My neighbor has no problem with it,” Dentremont explained. “It’s not near any structure, and the wetlands are behind my house…I wouldn’t be able to afford to to move the pool, and I do have a doctor’s note for it.”

The board only had two questions, how many months the pool is used for and whether there have been any complaints about it. Dentremont said that he uses it for as long as possible and that there have been no complaints.

After deliberation, a motion was made to approve the variance with a restriction, calling into play RSA 674:33 IV for as long as Mr. Dentremont is in need of the pool. All five members voted in favor, and the variance was approved.

Case four then began, with the request being from Michael Benoit for a variance from Londonderry Zoning Ordinance to allow the building of a 16 x 24-foot shed to encroach 11 feet into a 15-foot setback at 591 Mammoth Road.

Benoit felt as though this shed would have no effect on his neighbors. It would also replace an old, dilapidated shed that had been torn down, making the property more attractive.

He was then asked if his home has a garage, to which he said no. He hopes to build one eventually, though, and there was discussion between the board members about where a garage would go in the yard and how much room would be needed for it if the shed were to be added. There were no questions from the audience.

However, discussion continued among the board, and Chairman Neil Dunn explained that he was having trouble with the request because without a garage, there is room to maintain a setback without impacting anything. “Usually there’s no other place to put it,” he explained, “but without the garage, you have 58 feet.”

Deliberation then began, with Vice Chair Jacqueline Benard explaining that Benoit does, in fact, have room in his yard to build the shed without breaking any zoning ordinances. A motion was then made to deny the variance, and all five members voted in favor.

Finally, the fifth case was a request from Lisa Holmes for a variance from Londonderry Zoning Ordinance to allow a horse barn to encroach 10 feet into a 25-foot side setback at 362 Mammoth Road. Holmes currently has a horse barn that is 15 feet away from her property line, so she was requesting the variance in order to keep it where it is.

The barn, as well as a moveable fence, have been there since Holmes moved into the home in 2011. She currently has three horses, and explained that pushing the barn back would create a smaller fence area for them.

When asked if anyone in the audience was opposed, Cathy White, whose property abuts Holmes’, explained that since the barn and horses have been there, her husband has had to speak with Holmes several times about the “ungodly smell” of manure. She continued, saying that for several years, the manure was partially buried in her backyard.

White explained that she and her husband are looking to sell their home, and when a realtor came to look at it back in April, she was led to believe that the barn is lowering the value of her property. She concluded by asking that the variance be denied.

Her husband, Bill White, spoke as well, reiterating what his wife had said about the smell of the manure and the close proximity of the barn/fence to their property and their neighbors’.

Ashley Holmes, Holmes’ sister who lived with her for six months this past summer, spoke in favor of the variance approval. She explained that while she lived with her, she had no problem with the smell and that her sister took very good care of the horses.

Jim Butler, a friend of the Whites and a resident of Mammoth Road, spoke in opposition to the variance next, saying that having been to the Whites’ home, he would not wish to live there himself because of the smell. With no further questions from the audience nor the board, deliberation began.

While the concerns from the audience about the smell did not directly pertain to the setback case, Benard felt as though they should be noted. It was also determined that if the variance was approved, it would diminish the values of surrounding properties.

A motion was made to deny the request, with three board members voting in favor and two against. The variance was denied, and the meeting was adjourned.

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