City will lease 2 downtown parking spaces to new restaurant assite for required dumpsters

LACONIA — The City Council this week agreed to lease two downtown municipal parking spaces to David Kennedy to house two dumpsters, one for trash and another for recyclables. Kennedy intends to convert the former Evangelical Baptist Church at Veteran's Square to a restaurant with an Irish pub theme.

In a memorandum to the councilors, City Manager Scott Myers explained that the church building hugs the lot lines so closely that there is no space on the property to accommodate one, let alone two, dumpsters. After failing to negotiate an arrangement with David Gilbert, doing business as Reneda Properties, LLC who owns an abutting property at 660 Main Street, Kennedy deferred closing on his purchase of the church from December 20 to January 10 and asked to lease the two parking spaces.

Myers recommended leasing the spaces, an area of 20 feet by 10 feet at the rear of the church hall of the Congregational Church of Laconia, UCC, for five years at $100 per year with a provision to renew so long as the building remains a restaurant. In accordance with the zoning ordinance, the dumpsters must be fenced at the cost of the lessee, who must also carry insurance and pay taxes on the leased space.

Looking at a photograph of the location, Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5) noticed an dumpster on the adjacent Gilbert lot and wondered if space could be found to fence all three dumpsters together, saving one city parking space in the process. Myers said he would raise the issue with Gilbert.

No one questioned why, despite the zoning ordinance, the existing dumpster was not already fenced.

Chris Snow of the Planning Department confirmed Wednesday that dumpsters must be fenced and said that when a nonconforming situation comes to the attention of the department, property owners are advised of the violation by letter and asked to correct it.