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Zoning Nightmare

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  • Zoning Nightmare

    Hello, started my business in 1986 I had $1500 and was only $120,000 short.
    Ihad my lawyer draw up a LP andgot 9 inviestors to invest in my dream.
    In 2000 I bought out my investors.

    Now 32 years later the Town of Manchester has been changing the zoning and re zoned my 1.03 acres that was an industrial zone
    to a MU-2 Zone and eliminated self storage as a permitted or conditional use.

    I have hired Chris Heins and Wood land services to represent my business.

    Both Chris and I thought this must just be an oversight.

    Well it goes deeper than that. 3 years ago I found out that the Town Manager had gone to a local contractor who now owns
    the airport industrial park and offered some kind of deal, where he would preform some work for the town
    and then the town would sell him some of the Airport property acquired by the town from the Equinox Hotel when it was owned
    by the Galeisi Group.

    Back then I asked then town Manager Jeff Wilson , if they town would consider selling me some of that land since it abuts
    my A SAFE PLACE self storage property. He told me that it would stay forest land forever, as it is locate in the Aquifer Protection overlay district.

    So you can imagine my surprise when I hear the town might sell some of that so called protected forest land.

    So I went to see the Town Manager and asked him about the property.

    He reply was a bit strange,

    You know there is no electricity back there. there are no septic systems allowed, it will be fair market value.

    I stated that it seemed he was trying to discourage me and I did not appreciate that and if the town
    were to sell I would be interested. at the time the land had be rezoned industrial?

    I reminded him again a year and a half later, during the rezoning process.

    Then again on Dec 31, after cleaning up 4 - 42 gallon bags of roadside trash from Main Street from Barnumville Road
    to Beech Street as I adopted that section of road. So sent an email stating that i did my duty and again reminded
    him if they were going to sell and land I might be interested in buying.

    Within Minutes he replied and copied the ZA that he thought self storage was not a permitted use in the new MU-2 District!
    Followed by a email from ZA stating no self storage in the MU-2 District

    The 6 week later I get a call from this contractor, who states if i do not make a big stink he will sell me some of the
    and put it in writing! Now I am feeling that I may have stepped into something unpleasant !

    Then 3 weeks later I asked where this contract was,and was told that the TM told the contractor that it now has to go out to bid.

    So that is when I sent Chris Heins in to the PB meetings to see if they would correct this oversight. As I do not want to be a non conforming use
    in a zone that I was a permitted use for 32 years!

    The first meeting seemed to go well and I will put a link here for the minutes of the first meeting and the draft of the April 8 meeting
    when The TM sent a email that was read into the record stating his concern for Self storage in the aquifer protection overlay!

    His reason, that because all the units are locked and the people who rent them have 24 hour access there might be toxic waste
    in one or more of the units and the town would need a search warrant to find and treat it and he wanted the Town engineer to
    weigh in on this issue! I can not make this up!

    I got into the self storage biz 32 years ago, as I thought it was the most environmentally safe biz I could get into,as it does not polute the air or the ground!

    There are only 46 other permitted uses in the MU-2 zone that all pose more of a risk than my self storage buildings.
    One of the new permitted uses is a Contractors yard!

    So now the town announces that it will be seeking bids on 10 acres of this land and the list of requirements to submit a bid are
    really strict and even states that the property or business must allow access by the town, to eliminate self storage?

    Please. PLEASE consider coming to the June meeting and providing some professional opinion and guidance to the Planning Board
    that self-storage is not environmental threat to the aquifer!

    I am so frustrated and scared at the same time, that this TM is wiping my business off the zoning map!
    My leases clearly state no toxic material shall be stored and in 32 years There has never been a toxic spill of anything
    on my property,

    I do not wish to be a grandfathered use, and there is no hard evidence to prove the Town Managers claims!
    During tlast nights meeting the chairman of the Planning Board stated they were concerned about the lack of oversight!
    That someone could come in in the middle of the night with 55 gallon drums of oil and store them in one of my units
    till the bottoms rotted out and then there would be a hazadous spill!

    OMG! what the heck is this Bull ****! This could not happend in a contractors yard, or salvage yard or brewery or warehouse
    or someone’s garage or home? only in a self storage facility?

    PLEASE HELP ME! I need some data to show that something that does not happen, does not happen!

    Andrew J Tarantino

  • #2
    Good luck with this! Will keep my fingers crossed that it goes your way!
    Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!


    • #3
      State level associations can sometimes be helpful with this kind of thing...


      • #4
        HI Tall Terri, Thank you for your kind words. Hi Steve, I sent them an email with this same message today and have not heard back yet. I also wrote the Governors office, and the SSAA, and my local legislator. I have spoken to my attorney, and a mediator. But they have no suggestions so far. Next meeting is in June and in the mean time I am going to the local newspaper to drum up public support. I need any data or info to see how many times if any something like barrels of toxic waste have been left in a storage unit. This whole thing has me so depressed and full of anxiety and concern. Please any help out there?
        Andy in VT


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