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Salem zoning board OKs Internet used car business

SALEM — The Zoning Board of Adjustment has given its approval for a different type of used car business to operate in an industrial zone on Pelham Road.

Earlier this week, the board approved a variance allowing New Hampshire Select Truck and Auto to operate a retail car sales business at 34 Pelham Road.


However, anyone driving by the Pelham Road business won’t notice a typical used car lot.

“This business will be completely housed within the structure,” said Joseph Maynard of Benchmark Engineering, who represented the owner before the ZBA. “The business is by appointment only and will operate during normal business hours.”

Maynard said the vehicles will be advertised online and in print. The ZBA variance also allows for minor repairs on site, but Maynard said that will mostly be for the detailing of the cars and won’t involve heavy bodywork.“This is less intense than other industrial uses allowed in this zone and there is more than enough area to store the vehicles,” said Maynard. There is room to store about 20 vehicles at a time in the building, he added.“The concept they are proposing is a little unique,” said ZBA Chairman Gary Azarian.

He noted that the building is set back several hundred feet from the road and that the back of the building is screened from nearby residences.Azarian also noted that there have not been any problems with any of the businesses on the nearly nine-acre Pelham Road site.“This site is a large site and it contains a little bit of everything,” said Azarian. “It’s well maintained and it’s well run.”

The ZBA unanimously approved the variance with the stipulation that no cars be on display outside.The business still needs final site plan approval from the Planning Board.

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