Music v. sleep at the Weirs will be at issue again as Tower Hill Tavern asks city for extension to 1 a.m.

LACONIA — The conflict between music makers and sleep sellers at The Weirs, which overshadowed Jay and Anthony Santagate's effort to open the top floor of the Tower Hill Tavern to live bands, is likely to erupt again as he has asked the Planning Board to lift restrictions it placed on its approval of his original application and let the beat go on until 1 a.m.
In February, after more than two years of controversy, the board approved the Santagates' plan to provide a bar, stage and dance floor on the second floor where live bands would perform for up to 320 people. However, the last condition attached to the approval, at Santagate's suggestion, stipulated that bands would play only until 11 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day and until 10 p.m. from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
The Santagates have now asked the Planning Board to amend their approval by deleting the condition and allowing bands to play until 1 a.m. When Anthony Santagate appeared before the Technical Review Committee yesterday, no issues were raised by the representatives of the various city departments and the issue rests with the Planning Board, which is scheduled to consider his request in August.
Santagate said that in part the request was prompted by legislation enacted this year that authorizes municipalities to extend the hours of beer, wine and liquor sales from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. The city council would have to adopt an ordinance to extend the hours and could specify conditions that would apply.
Planning Director Shanna Saunders said yesterday that during Motorcycle Weeks, several business owners at The Weirs indicated to her that they intended to approach the City Council about extending their hours of operation. "If it happens," said Jay Santagate, "we would want to take advantage of it."