Belmont to consider property upkeep ordinance for village

BELMONT — The town's Planning Department is a considering the adoption a property maintenance code for the immediate village area, said selectmen earlier this week.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said Monday that Town Planner Candace Daigle and the Code Enforcement Officer Steve Paquin had spoken to her about concerns with garbage piling up in front of some homes.

"I think it's worth pursuing," said Chair Ron Cormier, saying that the village district looks so nice now that Phase 1 of the Village District Revitalization Plan is completed.

Cormier suggested that if the town were to adopt a property maintenance code that he would recommend the town create an official overlay district and adopt an ordinance for that district only.

Selectmen Ruth Mooney said she is a little concerned about the code enforcement officer having to deal with property maintenance and said she didn't want to see something overly restrictive like regulating how high someone's grass can grow.

None of them suggested anything as draconian as that but all said they would be interested in something that would help keep the village looking as nice as it does now.

All selectmen agreed that since the first phase of the Village Revitalization Project has been completed that many people in the village area have made efforts to keep the outsides of their property nicer.

Daigle said Belmont has a designated Village District for zoning purposes but it encompasses more area than the area officials may regulate through an ordinance. She said should the Planning Board decide an ordinance is appropriate and needed, she would recommend creating an official overlay district called the Village-Factory District which is confined to the immediate village.

Daigle said yesterday that she spoke with Laconia City Planner Shanna Saunders, who said Laconia adopted the International Property and Maintenance Codes of 2006.

Saunders said yesterday that the city most often used the code as an enforcement tool for junk and debris that pile up in yards. She said the bulk of the violations in Laconia occur in absentee-owner properties.

Daigle said the Planning Board is scheduled to review all ordinances and suggestions at the meeting scheduled for November 4.