ZBA set to hear request for electronic sign at Hanover and Lake

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A depiction of what the Lake/Hanover sign would look like if the variance is approved next to how it looks now. Screenshot/City of Manchester

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Thursday, the Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) will hear a request for a variance that would allow an electronic message board on the currently abandoned triangular lot at the corner of Hanover Street and Lake Avenue.

That property, 801 Hanover St., located in the B-2 (“General Business”) was purchased by Aaronasian Oil Co. Inc. in 1992. A request for a variance to demolish the existing building on the lot and build a new gas station was denied in 1994 and again in 1995.

The proposed electronic message board would be 22 feet by 9 feet or 198 square feet with a height of 30 feet. Under Article 9.09(D) of the Manchester Zoning Ordinance, the maximum freestanding sign size by right in B-1 districts is 40 square feet and the maximum height allowed by right is 12 feet.

Efforts to transform the property for other uses have been unsuccessful since the 1990s and efforts to redevelop the lot by Aaronasian have been unsuccessful. Aaronasian and their contractor applying to build the sign on their behalf, the Manchester-based Sign Gallery, have also agreed to clean up the property and current building on the property if the variance is approved. In documents submitted to the Manchester Planning and Community Development Department, Aaronasian and the Sign Gallery argue that the electronic sign would not be a nuisance to neighboring residential properties given the nearby office and commercial buildings in the area making residential neighbors already used to commercial signs.

The request is the 11th of 19 on the docket for the ZBA that night.

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The property is located at Hanover and Lake, near the Hannaford plaza seen here from above. Screenshot/Google Maps


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Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.