By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — In a bid to reopen discussion of zoning and development at The Weirs, which has languished for the past year, Mayor Ed Engler will offer a specific proposal to redefine the Commercial Resort District when the City Council meets on Monday.
The Commercial Resort District now begins on Lake Street, just south of its junction with White Oaks Road, extends northward along Weirs Boulevard, includes the center of the Weirs and runs either side of Endicott Street North (US Route 3) to the Meredith town line. It also includes property along both sides of Endicott Street East (NH Route 11-B) east of the roundabout to just beyond the Weirs Community Center.
The zoning ordinance describes the district as intended to accommodate dining, lodging, retail shops and recreation entities for both occasional tourists and seasonal residents as well as apartments and condominiums. Both specified commercial and residential uses are permitted throughout the district.
Nearly two years ago the City Council asked the Planning Board to reconsider the mix of uses within the Commercial Resort District, Last year, the Planning Board proposed changes that would have encouraged residential development and excluded commercial development in the southern reach of the district along Weirs Boulevard, but left the remainder of the district unchanged. The proposal met with resistance from commercial interests and the proposal was abandoned.
Engler suggests dividing the district into two parts by carving a Commercial Resort Corridor District out from the existing Commercial Resort District. The corridor would be defined as "the area extending 400 feet from either side of the center line of the right-of-way for Endicott Street North (US Route 3) and Endicott Street East (NH Route 11-B" between the Meredith town line to the west and the center of the intersection with White Oaks Road to the east.
Within the corridor residential development, which is currently permitted throughout the Commercial Resort District, would be confined to spaces "not less than 20 feet above ground level, provided that at least a single, ground-level floor of the same building, with the same or larger footprint, is devoted to a permitted commercial use." In other words, along the corridor residential development would be restricted to the upper level of buildings and then only if the ground floor of the same building is put to commercial use.
The Commercial Resort District, where both commercial and residential uses are permitted, would remain unchanged beyond the borders of the corridor.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 846