DERRY — Following the recent controversy over a proposed business, town councilors decided a joint meeting with the Planning Board should be moved up from next year to December.
The meeting between the two boards was originally scheduled for Jan. 21, Chairman Michael Fairbanks said during a council meeting last week. But that date seemed too long to wait for Councilor Neil Wetherbee, especially in light of recent controversies involving the Dumpster Depot site plan.
“I just feel, seeing it going into next year, just seems like a pretty long period of time and, particularly, we’ve had some planning controversies lately,” Wetherbee said.
A number of residents living near the proposed site of Dumpster Depot on Ashleigh Drive have expressed outrage at the possibility of the business coming to town. The residents have said that the business would lower property values, bring noise and pollution and increase rodent and mosquito activity.
The Planning Board voted, 5-2, on Aug. 21 to a conditionally approve the site plan.
Two abutters, state Rep. John O’Connor and Brenda Wilson, have stepped forward to file appeals in an effort to derail the business and keep it away from their property.
Dumpster Depot owner David Paul has said he understands residents living near the proposed facility don’t want it in their back yard, but that it is allowed in the industrial zoned section. Paul said he has gone through the legal process and the plan was approved and passed all regulations.
Last month, some town councilors said Planning Board members were in a difficult position but followed appropriate rules in the wake of their decision to approve the controversial plan. They added that the board was limited by zoning regulations that allowed for the business.
During the council meeting, acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said the January date was being considered since it was recommended by the town charter. Budreau said it would be possible for the council to hold an earlier meeting if proper notice was given to both the Town Council and Planning Board. As chairman, Fairbanks should also receive some input as to what the meeting’s content would be before the session, Budreau said.
“It would be reasonable to perhaps ask for input before the first meeting in November and conduct a meeting with the Planning Board in the first meeting of December,” Budreau said.
Fairbanks said he didn’t have a problem with moving the date of the meeting.
“It’s not a bad idea,” Fairbanks said. “By the consensus of the board, I’ll schedule it for the first meeting in December.”
The joint meeting is now scheduled for Dec. 3.