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Derry ZBA approves variance for former town councilor

DERRY - Former town councilor Kevin Coyle has the go-ahead to replace two aging cottages on his Beaver Lake Avenue property with a two-family duplex.

The Zoning Board of Adjustments recently approved a variance to allow the duplex in the single-family residential zone near Beaver Lake despite the objections of several neighbors.

Coyle said he recently tore down two dilapidated cottages that have been on the single lot for more than 50 years. Without the variance, Coyle noted that it was within his right to replace the cottages with two buildings without going before the ZBA.

Coyle also noted that the total number of bedrooms on the property would be lowered from five to four, and that the new building would meet all setback requirements.

"The two cottages both violated setback requirements," said Coyle. One was too close to the stream feeding into Beaver Lake and the other was too close to the road. "The duplex would be back within the setback requirements, making the property more conforming rather than less conforming," Coyle said.

He also noted that there are two other duplexes within the area and that the ZBA previously approved a variance for a duplex on a smaller lot.Town code enforcement officer Robert Mackey stated that there are several properties around Beaver Lake where there have been two cottages on a single lot.

However, several abutters said they did not like the prospect of a duplex in the single-family neighborhood.

"I want to apologize to Kevin," said Beaver Lake Avenue resident Seth Enwright. "I bought my property from him 13 years ago, but I don't feel like a duplex in the neighborhood is keeping with that section of the neighborhood."

Enwright also noted that the two cottages were owned by a single family and were a seasonal property.

ZBA member Al Dimmock said he understood the neighbor's concerns, but added that Coyle could build two houses on the lot without a variance.

"I think it is a reasonable request and he has a right to the reasonable use of his property," said Dimmock.

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