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Building & grounds design standards proposed for Laconia

LACONIA — The Planning Board will begin the process of adding design standards to its site plan regulations next week when it holds a public hearing on a draft proposal during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m.

The regulation is intended to supplement the current ordinances without vesting the Planning Board with more authority than it already possesses. At the same time, it seeks to make the planning process more transparent and predictable by informing builders and developers of what is expected before they invest time and money in a project.

Since the design standards would be an amendment to the site plan regulations, not to the zoning ordinance, they would not require the approval of the City Council, but could be adopted by the Planning Board alone.

They would be applied to all developments, except for one and two family residential projects, undertaken in the city. A subcommittee of the Planning Board would work with developers to comply with the design standards as well as make recommendations about particular project to the board, which which the final approval of site plans rests.

The proposal consists of written and illustrated guidelines describing specific architectural goals such as entryways, landscaping, roofing, materials, lighting, windows and decoration. A score sheet, which awards, withholds and detracts points for an array of optional components, would be a prerequisite for approval of a site plan. For example, a plan to place parking space at the rear of the building would gain four points while putting parking spaces at the front of a building would lose four points. Likewise, an ornamental fence would be worth one point while a chainlink fence would cost a point. The standards would vary from one district to another in the city.

Although a strong predictor of the outcome of the planning process, the Planning Board would not be strictly bound to a numeric standard but authorized to apply its judgment to the particular circumstances of individual projects. Brandee Loughlin, assistant planner, said yesterday that the details of how the scoring will be applied to specific projects remain to be decided.

The design standards were prepared by Hawk Planning Resources, LLC, Ironwood Design Group, LLC and SMP Architecture, Inc.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 May 2014 12:34

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Young Gilford man survives heroin overdose

LACONIA — A 21-year-old Gilford man was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail for one count of possession of heroin after he accidentally overdosed while in his parents home on Oxbow Lane Wednesday night.

Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Kelsey Hron's, parents found him at 11:45 p.m. laying on his bed. They told police he wasn't breathing and was purple and called 911.

Hron's father pounded on his chest and was able to bring him around. Affidavits said when police and fire responders arrived Hron was standing up. They said his eyes were bloodshot and he appeared disoriented.

Police recovered a spoon with liquid and gauze, a syringe, and a small plastic bag containing a white powdered substance.

After he was seen at Lakes Region General Hospital, Hron was charged with one count of possession of heroin.

During his video arraignment, Gilford's prosecutor Eric Bredbury argued for $5,000 cash only bail saying that he thought Hron was a danger to the community but more importantly, a danger to himself.

He noted that Hron was already on bail for charges of identity fraud and receiving stolen property after being indicted by a Belknap County grand jury on April 24. He said that as part of Hron's bail conditions, he was not to possess any illegal substances.

"(Hron) acknowledges his substance abuse issues," said Bredbury.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered that Hron be held on $5,000 cash only however the bail could be reduced to personal recognizance should he be accepted in a residential treatment program.

Should he post bail, he is ordered to live with his parents on Oxbow Lane.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 10:44

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Lou's last (Hands Across the Table) supper

LACONIA — Last evening Lou Gaynor, the chef for Hands Across the Table since the popular program began in June 2011, prepared his last meal — beef over noodles topped off with tiramisu for desert — for more than 150 diners at the parish hall at St. Andre Bessette Parish.

Sandy Morey said that apart from the six weeks Gaynor has been spending in Florida each year, "he has cooked every single meal from day one and done all the shopping. He's done everything from soup to nuts." Now he is going to be a full-time resident of the Sunshine State.

Deacon Russ Morey said that Gaynor planned the menus, which were never "hum-drum," but always "well-balanced with lots of variety and super tasty. We never wonder if we we're going to eat and eat well," he added, "and there's always enough, no matter how many people show up."

Gaynor said that he has enjoyed his part in the popularity of the program, which he believes will continue to grow as his successor, Tammy Fontaine, takes his place in the kitchen.


CAPTION: Lou Gaynor, who for past three years has planned and prepared the meals for Hands Across the Table, with his successor, Tammy Fontaine. The Florida-bound Gaynor served his last meal yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:51

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Hart's Turkey Farm restaurant marks 60th year with sumptuous open house buffet

MEREDITH — About 600 people from the Lakes Region tourism industry turned out Wednesday for Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant's annual invitation-only open house.
The waiting line for the 500-seat restaurant, the largest in the Lakes Region, extended out the front door, just as it does on busy weekends at Hart's, which this year marks its 60th anniversary.
Owner Russ Hart and Sim Willey, general manager, greeted guests as they arrived at the restaurant, which on a busy day serves more than one ton of turkey, 40 gallons of gravy, 1,000 pounds of fresh potatoes, 4,000 dinner rolls, and more than 100 pies.
Because it's Thanksgiving every day at Hart's, the restaurant has become a real icon, having been selected by Boston's Phantom Gourmet as a ''Cult Classic'' due to its famously loyal customers who return year after year from all parts of the country.
Hart says that his family, originally from New Jersey, had been vacationing in the Lakes Region since the 1920s and that his father, Russ, and uncle, Larry, moved to the area in 1946 along with their wives, Helen and Gerda, and started farming, growing vegetables and apples and selling chickens, eggs and turkeys from a delivery truck.
In 1953, they raised turkeys exclusively and, in 1954, they opened a 12-seat restaurant specializing in turkey sandwiches and dinners and many of the early customers still remember hearing the gobbling of the turkeys as they drove by on Ladd Hill Road.
Russ became the sole owner when his brother Larry passed away in 1960. In 1965, he phased out raising his own turkeys, discovering that he could equal the quality of the home-grown birds by selectively purchasing them from turkey farms that met his standards.
Hart says his father's point of view was always "If you want it done right, do it yourself," so practically everything served at the restaurant is made right on the premises, including relishes, salad dressings, fresh whipped potatoes, gravies, soups and chowders (made from simmered rich stocks), pies, dinner rolls, puddings, and even Hart's own premium ice cream.
Over the years the restaurant continued to expand and in 1986, Russ and Helen's children, Lynn, Dale, Russell T., and Glenn, purchased the restaurant and continued their active involvement in its daily operations. In February 1998, the family lost Glenn and is still grateful to the community for the support which was forthcoming following his death.
Hart's also operates a catering service which is capable of serving thousands of people at single events and caters all over northern New England.
Hart says that restaurant's web site features a memories section in which customers are invited to share their memories of Hart's and that he always gets a good feeling when he reads their comments.
''We've been fortunate to have such loyal customers and have a next generation here led by Sim which is making sure that the customers get the same quality food and service that we've always prided ourselves on.''
He says that Hart's has always been a strong supporter of the community and promote Lakes Region events such as Laconia Bike Week, Soulfest, and the Great Rotary Fishing Derby, as well as supporting local nonprofit groups.


Russ Hart of Hart's Turkey Farm greets invited guests at the restaurant's annual open house held for members of the area tourist industry Wednesday. About 600 people attended the event. Hart's marks its 60th anniversary season this year. (Roger Amsdenfor The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:44

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