Zoning change needed for boat storage

MEREDITH — Proponents of a plan to change a property’s use from a motorcycle museum to boat storage say that it would provide an economic and aesthetic benefit to the community. The town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment must first approve the change, however.
The ZBA has changed the date of its deliberations on the application to allow boat storage at property now housing the American Police Motorcycle Museum from Aug. 24 to Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Owner Doug Frederick is looking to relocate the motorcycle museum, and Meredith Marina is looking to purchase the property at 194 Daniel Webster Highway. The town ruled that boat storage was not an allowed use in that zone which meant Frederick had to seek a special exception from the zoning board.
“This potential purchase of the property is the next great thing for Meredith Marina as well as the Town of Meredith,” said Matt O’Neil, the marina’s general manager.
In a letter supporting the special exception that was read into the record at the zoning board’s Aug. 10 meeting, O’Neil said the purchase makes sense because of its proximity to the marina’s current waterfront location.
“It is our intention to clean up the property and relocate our sales department,” O’Neil said. “In doing so, we plan to expand, creating employment opportunities within the local community and also create additional revenue for the Town of Meredith simultaneously.”
While there were some questions about moving boats in and out of the property due to heavy traffic on Route 3, Frederick says the traffic lights at the Route 104 intersection and the rotary at the intersection with Parade Road serve to create gaps that allow entry and egress from the property.
The property has a great line of sight, Frederick said, and he also noted that most boat traffic in and out would occur prior to Motorcycle Week and in the fall around Columbus Day when the roads see less traffic.
O’Neil echoed the sentiment, calling the traffic pattern “very favorable for the plans that we would to love to be able to implement at the property. We have all seen the changes just down the road at Church Landing and love the idea. We would like to be able to follow suit providing greater employment opportunities.”
Frederick issued a statement, saying, “We have had a wonderful relationship with the Marina for almost four years. I have deep respect for the owner who treats his employees and customers like family.”
He said the marina “offers us the best and possibly only chance to complete [the move] in a timely fashion. The process will take a minimum of two years, as after we sell the museum property and empty the building, we must also sell the home we purchased in the Lakes Region before we begin relocation and set up at our new location.”
Frederick would not reveal where he planned to reopen the motorcycle museum, except to say that it would be in New Hampshire. He said he will temporarily put the motorcycles and police memorabilia in storage.
Frederick also had letters of support from both McDonald’s and Ippolito’s, the two properties overlooking the property.
No one raised objections to the plan during the public hearing on the proposal, but the zoning board will have to determine whether a special exception is appropriate when it meets on Tuesday.
“We love what we do, and we love New Hampshire,” Frederick said, emphasizing how well-received the motorcycle museum has been and how welcoming the community is. “We love it here.”
The property where the motorcycle museum is located is the former home of Burlwood Antiques.

Seven city roads may become ‘emergency lanes’


LACONIA — In two weeks, the City Council will consider designating seven private streets as emergency lanes, ensuring that the city can continue basic maintenance on these roads.

While the city has been maintaining these roads over the years, there is no paper trail showing they were ever authorized or accepted as city streets.

State law says public funds can't be spent on private roads, and it is a long process to convert a private road to a public road. However, the law does allow the city to continue basic maintenance on emergency lanes for purposes of ensuring access to firefighters, police and paramedics.

A policy will be drawn up for council consideration on how much maintenance work will be done on these roads once they are designated emergency lanes.

“The goal will be to keep these roads passable, plowed, general maintenance for the streets but not necessarily new pavement going forward,” City Manager Scott Myers said.

Public Works Director Wes Anderson there are 200 roads in Laconia that are private and privately maintained. For another 47 roads, the city has been providing maintenance, but there is no record that they are owned by the city.

The City Council will consider designating seven of those roads as emergency lanes on Aug. 28: Cotton Hill Road, Dell Avenue, Eastman Shore Road North, Lucerne Avenue, McKinley Road, Regis Road and Wentworth Avenue.

Meantime, the city will continue working on making a determination of the ultimate designation for the remaining 40 roads that receive city services without evidence of city ownership.

Meredith to look at unexpected funding

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUNMEREDITH — The town may accept up to $887,050 in unanticipated funds from several sources, including the $182,156 supplemental highway block grant signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu last month. Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Monday to accept the money.
Other unexpected funding includes $300,000 from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Fund, $250,000 through the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), $107,500 from the state Department of Environmental Services’ Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, $20,000 from the NH Moose Plate Program, and $8,000 from Turn Up The Heat.
There also is $4,600 associated with the Pathways Nature Trail, $1,250 with Pathways Maps, $2,174 with Community Center Kids Programs, $870 with the Community Center, $500 in general assistance programs, and a family gift of $10,000.
The public hearing, required before selectmen can accept the money, will take place during Monday’s meeting, which begins with a workshop session at 4:30 p.m.
During the workshop portion of the meeting, selectmen will be discussing a waterfront infrastructure project proposal and the water and sewer annual report.
Also on the agenda is a proposed bridge-painting project on Interstate 93 and discussion about a memorandum of understanding with other towns to work together in order to achieve lower electric rates.
A committee appointment rounds out the agenda.