Perley honored BY NHPA as Citizen Planner of the Year


LACONIA — Suzanne Perley, the secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and chairman of the Zoning Task Force, was named "Citizen Planner of the Year" by the New Hampshire Planners Association at its annual spring conference earlier this month.

Shanna Saunders, the former city planner who serves as president of the association, nominated Perley for the award, citing not only the role she has played in the planning process but also her contributions role in the planning process but also her contributions to other civic initiatives

As chairman of the Zoning Task Force, Perley was the chief architect of an ordinance permitting the keeping of backyard chickens, which ultimately failed, as well as the ordinance regulating the the use of electronic signs. She also undertook the spadework to prepare an ordinance to accommodate a medicinal marijuana dispensary should in the event one of the franchises chose to operate in the city.

Perley is also a member of the Master Plan Advisory Team and, Saunders said, has been a keen, able editor of the draft chapters as they are written.

Along with participating in the planning process, Perley is active in the Lake Opechee Association, which controls the growth of milfoil, serves as treasurer of the WOW Trail committee and business manager of the Bayside and Union cemeteries and a member of the Opechee Garden Club.

"She is a very busy lady," her husband John remarked, "but, she enjoys every thing she does and sometimes even comes home."


05-20 Perley Citizen 

Suzanne Perley, left, who chairs the Zoning Task Force and serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment in Laconia, was presented with the Citizen Planner of Year Award by the New Hampshire Planners Association. Shanna Saunders, right, former Laconia city planner and president of the association, nominated Perley and presented the award. (Courtesy photo)

Plan for Happy Tails Dog Park enlarged


LACONIA — A revised plan for the Happy Tails Dog Park, which includes significantly enlarged with enlarged enclosures, will be presented to the Planning Board when it meets on June 1.

The original plan for the park, prepared by Rokeh Consulting, LLC of Chichester, included two abutting rectangular enclosures, each 78 feet by 130 feet, one for large dogs and another for small dogs, and a third separate enclosure, 20 feet by 60 feet, for puppies. However, the plan has been revised. While the area for puppies remains unchanged, the other enclosures have been reconfigured and enlarged. The rectangular enclosure has been replaced by an oval enclosure, split into two sections, each approximately 250 feet by 100 feet, for small and large dogs.

The dog park would be sited on approximately two acres of a 25-acre rectangular tract between the end of Spruce Street and Growtth Road, which is owned by the city. The city acquired the land in 1976 with a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1965, which the restricts the property to recreational uses.

The park would be reached from the end of Growtth Road near the southern entrance to the Lakes Business Park, where a 20-foot gravel driveway would lead to a graveled parking lot with spaces for 20 vehicles. The park would not not be served by either water or electricity. The projected annual maintenance costs of between $1,500 and $2,000 will be born by members of the Happy Trails Dog Park, who will also manage and police the facility.

A generous donation of $100,000 from the Lezama family of Laconia will finance construction of the park, which will bear the Lezama name, as well as endow a fund for its maintenance.

There were 2,191 dogs registered in the city in 2015, one for every seven people.

St. Helena land to become seven house lots


LACONIA — Peter Morrissette, the principle of PEM Real Estate LLC, which acquired the lot on Endicott Street South where St. Helena Mission Church stood for 60 years before it was razed last year, plans to develop a residential subdivision on the property.

Morrissette has applied to divide the 3.38-acre parcel into seven house lots ranging in size from 14,536 square feet to 22,416 square feet, all served by municipal utilities. Morrissette said that the development of the property will be undertaken by his brother Kevin Morrissette of N.W. Morrissette & Sons, a well known local homebuilder.

"It's really his development, not mine," he said. Morrissette anticipated the single-family homes would be priced around $250,000.

The property is surrounded by a 30-acre tract where the Planning Board has approved a cluster subdivision, including four waterfront lots.

Morrissette purchased the property in 2014 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester for $185,000, well below the asking price of $349,000, after the property had been listed for about a year.The Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, the prior owner of the property, limited its future use by placing permanent restrictions on the deed that run with the land. Without the authorization of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester the property cannot be used as a place of worship or to house the performance or promotion of services contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Likewise, the property cannot be used for any purpose "inconsistent with the faith and morals of the Roman Catholic Church."

Originally Morrissette proposed using the church as a storage facility and applied to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the necessary variance. However, he withdrew his request in the face of bitter opposition from residents of Pendleton Beach Road and Boathouse Road.