DERRY — Despite a revised plan to create a greater buffer zone between a proposed Dumpster Depot location on Ashleigh Drive and abutting homeowners, many residents are still up in arms about the project.
After more than two hours of questions and debate last week, the Planning Board decided to table the public hearing on the project until its next meeting on Wednesday, June 5.
Dumpster Depot owner David Paul is looking to move the main headquarters of his business from Manchester to Derry. The proposal includes the construction of a two-story, 7,200-square-foot building with outside space for 350 Dumpsters that will be rented out to individuals or contracting companies.
During the public hearing, neighbors raised questions about potential noise, odors, hazardous materials and mosquito breeding that could be caused by the project.
"What is the benefit to Derry?" asked Greenwich Road resident Brenda Wilson. "This is not bringing jobs or a lower tax rate to Derry, and it is also causing an eyesore to the newly developed Route 28 area."
She asked the Planning Board to consider the noise, smell and destruction that would be caused by the project, as well as the feelings of all the neighbors vehemently opposed to the project.
A number of residents also noted that they were afraid the project would lower their property values.
Town Administrator John Anderson said Dumpster Depot is not exactly the type of business the town was picturing for the new TIF district along Route 28, but added that the underlying industrial zoning of the area does allow for businesses such as Dumpster Depot.
Since the advent of the TIF district and the related reconstruction of that area of Route 28, Anderson said the idea has been to move toward more retail types of businesses, such as the newer Super Walmart and WoofMeow pet store plaza.
"From my perspective, it is not my desire to have this type of business in our TIF district, but our underlying zoning allows it," Anderson said. "The question becomes, how do we control it and how do we put conditions on it if we are to pass it. But I can tell you from my personal perspective it is not what we are looking to have up there."
The board took up Anderson's suggestion to table the public hearing until June 5 in order to address some of the questions raised by neighbors and board members.
For his part, Paul said he has followed all town and state regulations to make sure the project meets all requirements, including spending an additional $20,000 for a triple-layered buffer zone of spruce and fir trees behind the Dumpsters.
"I understand no one wants to have a Dumpster Depot in their back yard, just like no one wants a trucking company or a police station in their back yard," said Paul. "Fortunately, there are rules and regulations, one of which is that this land is zoned Industrial 3, which allows for recycling areas, service stations, trucking companies, and contracting yards."