Gilford approves driveway crossing for Airport Commons

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — As work continues at the Airport Commons retail plaza, which is the home of the Gilford Cinemas, the project developers got another piece of good news Tuesday night when the Conservation Commission voted to allow a new entrance to cross some wetlands along Route 11.

According to the wetland application passed by the Conservation Commission, the proposed new entrance is directly across from the eastern most exit of the Laconia Bypass.

Applications indicate that the crossing is at the highest point in the field and that a culvert will run underneath the entrance so the field will not be divided into two separate wetlands.

Project designer William Stack, who is with Steven Smith Associates, said the impact to the "functions and values of the total wetlands" will be insignificant as a roadway, a sewer main and other utility services have been installed through this area in the past.

The town has long supported the upgrade and future expansion of the newly named Airport Commons and considers it beneficial for the community and the commercial district.

WJP Development LLC of Portsmouth plans on purchasing the property but said last year that improving what is there and potentially adding to the shopping center was contingent on getting a new entrance directly off Route 11.

Initially the state Department of Transportation balked at the idea but in September of 2015 it approved the new entrance and also secured the agreement of the governor and Executive Council.

The ongoing improvements do not involve any additions to the existing footprint so a site plan review was not needed.

Planning Director John Ayer said that should Airport Commons expand in the future, a site plan will need to be filed and approved by the Planning Board. Any special exceptions or variances, should they be needed, would go before the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

The project has also been given a green light from the state Division of Historical Resources and the state Natural Heritage Bureau.
The current renovation is expected to be completed this fall. The Gilford Cinemas have remained open during construction as has the Gilford House of Pizza.

08-18 Airport Commons plan

This map shows the proposed new entrance to Airport Commons (at top left), as approved by the Gilford Conservation Commission Tuesday night. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

 

No more boat repairs allowed at Weirs condo

Family living at The Last Resort ordered by judge to remove ‘barge’ used to load and unload watercraft

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A local judge has temporarily limited some of the activities that can be performed in the common areas of a five-unit condominium unit on Weirs Boulevard called The Last Resort.

Responding to a request for an injunction to stop the owners of two of the five units from performing what they call "jet-ski/water bike repairs and sales," Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O'Neill said the Weeks family is prevented from repairing watercraft in the common areas of the property.

They are also prohibited from launching watercraft that doesn't belong to them from the common area and that a "barge" or a platform-based boat used by them to take smaller personal watercraft to other parts of the lake, must be removed from the common dock area.

The Weeks family owns two of the five units and the other three owners reactivated a dormant condominium association to stop the Weeks's three adult sons from conducting what they call commercial activities in the common areas, which they say use more than the Weeks's fair share of dock space.

An affidavits presented to O'Neill by Karen Weeks, who is the mother of the three boys, said she and her family enjoy the use of The Last Resort – A Condominium during the summers and that the so-called "barge" is a boat owned by them that is equipped with a lifts so they can load their Jet Skis at their home and safely launch them in the middle of the lake and away from boat traffic near the Weirs Channel.

Weeks said that they occasionally have guests and that there are no commercial activities at or in either of their units.

She said that the photographs submitted to the court showed crowds from a single charity event the family had in 2014 that was approved by the association.

O'Neill said his order will remain in full force pending any further order by the court. He said that any violations will constitute contempt of court.

Moultonborough officer nabs Ossipee bank robber

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MOULTONBOROUGH — Police arrested a New York man Thursday about an hour after he allegedly robbed the Ossipee Branch of the Citizen's Bank.

Police Chief Leonard Weatherbee said Master Patrol Officer Jared Beaulieu was monitoring traffic on Route 25 when he noticed a black Toyota 4-Runner that fit the description of alleged robber.

Weatherbee said Beaulieu radioed in his location and pulled over William M. Cropsey, 26, of Rochester, New York. He said Cropsey initially gave Beaulieu a false name but Beaulieu was eventually able to identify him.

Weatherbee said Moultonborough Police were familiar with Cropsey because of a recent domestic violence incident.

Moultonborough Police charged Cropsey with one count of stalking, one count of disobeying a police officer for lying about his identity, and one count of driving after suspension.

Weatherbee said Cropsey was taken to the Carroll County House of Corrections where he was later charged by Ossipee Police for one count of robbery.

Ossipee Police said Cropsey was arraigned in the 3rd Circuit Court, Ossipee Division and is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail. Should he post bail, a source-of-funds hearing will be held.

Weatherbee said Beaulieu showed great powers of observation.

"It was a great police of police work," said Weatherbee.