LACONIA — The Planning Board last night approved the plan of Southworth Development, LLC, the managing developer of Meredith Bay at The Weirs, to add a mid-rise building with 24 condominium units to its growing inventory along either side of Scenic Road.
North Lodges at Meredith Bay is planned on a 6.7-acre lot at the foot of Brickyard Mountain, across Scenic Road, just north of the Town Homes at Meredith Bay, which line the shoreline northward from Look Off Rock. The four-story building will house units of one-bedroom units of 1,400-square-feet and two-bedroom units of 1,900-square-feet, both with dens. There will be six units on each floor served by elevators from the underground parking garage that open directly into the individual units.
Chris Duprey, project executive for Southworth Development, said that 5.4 acres of the steeply sloped site will be left undisturbed as the building will be constructed on a shelf overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. The building will resemble the Town Homes, 19 two-bedroom townhouses on three levels divided among five buildings along the shoreline, accented with timbered trusses, stone work , clapboards and shingles.
Duprey told the board that two issues arose in the planning process. Although obliged to install sidewalks on Scenic Road, he said that a deep drainage swale along the front of the property renders a sidewalk impractical. Instead, he proposed extending the sidewalk built on the east (lake) side of Scenic Road to serve the Town Homes northward to the entrance to to North Lodges where a crosswalk would be installed. The existing sidewalk would also be extended southward to the entrance to Akwa Marina. Alternatively he suggested setting aside funds, based on the estimated cost of a linear foot of five-foot-wide sidewalk, for the construction of sidewalks to the city's design. The Planning Board agreed to both alternatives pending further design work by the Department of Public Works.
Duprey also requested that the board waive development impact fees in return for a contribution toward increasing the capacity and efficiency of the sewer pump station on Scenic Road to accommodate the additional development. In addition to the Town Homes and North Lodges, Southworth Development has received approval to construct three mid-rise buildings, each with 24 condominium units on four stories on the west side of Scenic Road just south of the North Lodges.
The cost of upgrading the pump station is estimated at $230,000. Southworth Development agreed to pay half the cost up to $115,000 and in return impact fees of $41,000 will be waived.
Southworth Development expects to break ground for the North Lodges in six weeks.
Duprey explained that with the construction of the North Lodges, Southworth Development will diversify its inventory to include single-family homes and house lots at Meredith Bay, townhouses on three levels at the Town Homes and condominiums on one level at the North Lodges. He said with the completion of the three remaining mid-rise buildings, which have not been scheduled for construction, development the firm's shorefront properties would be virtually complete, leaving space only for a few single-family homes or duplexes.