GILFORD – Fifty-two Gilford residents have petitioned for a zoning article that would change the zone designation of Gunstock Inn and Resort from limited residential to resort commercial.
Owners Leslie and Linda Schuster feel that if the inn were in a resort commercial zone it would be much more conducive to the hotel, restaurant and fitness center that has operated in the same spot for years.
"It has been a commercial business since long before we owned it," said Les Schuster, who added that he thinks one of the reasons his predecessor failed was because it was improperly zoned as limited residential.
He said recently he needed to get a commercial sign approval, but learned he had to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustments to get it. While he was approved, he said every commercial endeavor he tries to make must go before the ZBA simply because of how the property is zoned.
He said, for example, he mentioned outdoor weddings after learning that previous owners had been historically hosting them.
"If I was in a resort commercial zone, I wouldn't need to go to the ZBA for permission for every little thing," he said.
Schuster noted that there are two other commercial properties within a stones throw of the Gunstock Inn – namely Gunstock Mountain Resort and the former Alberg Inn property.
Because there are a few residential properties between the inn and the former Alberg property directly across from the Gunstock Mountain, Schuster said that if the ordinance passed on the 2016 town warrant, he would leave it to the land use boards to decide it that small area should also be changed from limited residential to resort commercial zoning.
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