Sea Doo raffle raises $10,000 for Got Lunch!

A raffle to win a Sea Doo Spark personal watercraft raised more than $10,000 for Got Lunch! Laconia. Shown here, from left, are Linda Tunnicliffe of Got Lunch!, Jack Irwin of Irwin Marine, winners Peg and Bill Richard of Moultonborough, and Hollis Thompson, Paula Gile and Greg Thompson, all from Got Lunch!. The program provides food for school-age children who normally qualify for the free and reduced-priced lunch program at school to have for lunch during the summer. This summer, the volunteer-run program has served 652 children, delivering food for 27,464 lunches, at a cost of $120 per child, per summer. This is the third year that Irwin Marine has donated a personal watercraft to be raffled for the program. The Richards won both the Sea Doo and a trailer for it, at a combined value of about $8,000. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

Man who wants to add 5th apartment to Baldwin Street apartment suing city over zoning board ruling

LACONIA — A property owner has appealed the decisions of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to deny him variances that would have entitled him to add a fifth apartment to a multi-unit property on Baldwin Street to the Belknap County Superior Court. .

Eaton Tarbell, Jr., a Concord attorney, owns a multi-family building on a 0.37 acre lot at 33 Baldwin Street that also houses a garage of some 883-square-feet. The building is divided into four apartments. Tarbell sought to convert the garage to a fifth dwelling unit in the course renovating the building containing the remaining units. The property lies in the residential general district where multi-family dwelling are permitted by special exception.

Although Tarbell applied for variances to allow conversion of the garage, he questioned whether the variances were necessary since he claimed that the multi-family use of the property originated no later than the 1940s, well before the city adopted its zoning ordinance, in 1969, requiring a special exception for multi-family dwellings. Consequently, Tarbell claimed the multi-family use of the property was grandfathered as a pre-existing, non-conforming use. Since the zoning ordinance provides that "a nonconforming use may be extended to unused parts of a lawfully existing building or structure," Tarbell questioned whether either a special exception or variances were necessary..

Nevertheless, on the advice of the Planning Department, he applied for a special exception to sanction the multi-family use of the property, which the Zoning Board of Adjustment granted in December, 2015. Likewise to convert the garage and add a fifth unit, Tarbell was advised he would require variances from both the density and parking requirements. In January, 2016 the Zoning Board of Adjustment denied his requests for variances.

Tarbell requested a rehearing at which he claimed the Zoning Board of Adjustment failed to determine whether the variances it denied were necessary. He referred to the zoning ordinance stipulating that "a nonconforming use may be extended" to claim that the were unnecessary. Moreover, he pointed out that in March, 2015 then planning Director Shanna Saunders issued a build permit for renovations to the building. The zoning ordinance reads: "No building permit may be issued until the director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee determines that the proposed use of the structure or land conforms to this chapter." By issuing the building permit, Tarbell claims that Saunders confirmed that the pre-existing, nonconforming use of the property was grandfathered, rendering both the special exception and variances unnecessary.

In response, the city contends that Tarbell was aware that the Planning Department disagreed with his reading of the zoning ordinance and in any event has misread the ordinance. In a memorandum to the Zoning Board Board of Adjustment, Saunders interpreted the ordinance to mean that if a non-conforming use exists within an existing building it may be expanded within the confines of that building, but not to other building on the property. Nor, she said, does the ordinance allowing limited expansion of a non-conforming use extinguish the need to comply with other sections of the ordinance like density and parking requirements. Likewise, in the city's answer to Tarbell's suit, attorney Walter Mitchell refers to his "misreading" of the ordinance and dismisses the notion "he could expand the multifamily use as a matter of right anywhere on the property, and free from any other city zoning requirements."

Belmont police meet drug 'scourge' with 4 more arrests

BELMONT — Police made four drugs-related arrests last weekend, including three involving people wanted by their own department or others.

According to police logs, at 2:08 a.m. Saturday, police arrested Stephen Marando, 55, and Andrea Cross, 43, both of 72 Chestnut Street. Both were wanted by authorities and both were charged with possession of controlled and narcotics drugs.

At 5:02 p.m. Saturday, police arrested Adam Leisner, 27, of 37 Deware Drive after they saw him near his car which had broken down. He was charged with one count of possession of controlled/narcotic drugs.

At 8:44 p.m., police arrested Sean Mallory, 29, of 178 Shaker Road Apt. 3 on a number of outstanding warrants. He was also charged with possession of controlled/narcotic drugs.

Lt. Richard Mann said that based on the "scourge" of drug abuse in Belmont and in the Lakes Region, police are taking an "aggressive stance" toward people with whom they come in contact who are in possession of drugs.

"We know that every drug in our community gets here by some sort of conveyance so focusing on the basics can help us with drug interdiction efforts," Mann said.

He went on to say that for those who are making no efforts to get help, police will vigorously prosecute them for violating the drug laws.

In other police business, Mann wanted to caution drivers along the Route 107 and Route 106 corridors when the bicycle routes for the Ironman 70.3 Timberman route will be active from 7 am - 11 am this Sunday. Digital sign boards have been posted in and around the area for two weeks reminding residents of this event.

He said the bike race will affect traffic at all local roads that meet or intersect Route 107 near Leavitt Road, Federal Street and along the Route 106 corridor from Leavitt Road south to the Gilmanton Town line.

He said police officers will have a visible presence along the race route to assist motorists and ask that all motorists use caution while motoring in the area, especially on Sunday morning from 7 to 11 a.m.