By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
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.
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