LACONIA — Peter Morrissette, the principal of PEM Real Estate, LLC, the owner of the former St. Helena Mission Church at The Weirs, asked the Zoning Board of Adjustment to defer for a month further consideration of his request for a zoning variance entitling him to use the property as a storage facility.
The ZBA was expected to consider the issue discussion when it met this week, but continued the item until September at Morrissette's request.
Neither "indoor storage" or "warehousing, as defined by the zoning ordinance, are permitted uses in the Shoreftont Residential District where the property is located.
Last month Attorney Paul Fitzgerald, representing Morrissette, told the ZBA that the ground floor and basement of the building each provide 5,200-square-feet of undivided space. He assured the board that the exterior of the building would be maintained without change. Nor would there be an office, signage or outdoor storage on the site. Instead, Fitzgerald explained, the space would be leased to one or two commercial entities for a relatively long-term to store seasonal inventory, like motorcycles, jet-skis and snowmobiles. He said that there would be very infrequent comings and goings to and from the site. In particular, Fitzgerald stressed that the building would not be divided into a multiplicity of individual storage units for household belongings with round-the clock access.
However, several residents of the adjacent Pendleton Beach neighborhood, including Warren Hutchins of Boathouse Road, the chairman of the Planning Board who spoke as a private individual, urged the ZBA to deny the request, which they said would have adverse impacts on the character of their neighborhood and the value of their properties.
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