LACONIA — In response to Harry Bean's offer to purchase parts of two lots owned by the city next door to a house lot he owns at 32 Davis Place, the City Council this week scheduled a public hearing to determine if the city has need of the property or chooses to sell it. The hearing will be held during the council meeting on Monday, Feb. 8.
Bean seeks to purchase 9,810 square feet of untended woodland straddling Jewett Brook and lying between a house lot he owns at 32 Davis Place, on the opposite bank of the brook, and the remainder of the city property, part of which serves as a parking lot. Most of the land lies within a 1.67-acre lot on that fronts on Davis Place and stretches along the north bank of the brook to the Winnipesaukee River. Bean's offer also includes an adjoining strip of land, approximately 10 feet by 131 feet, along the east side of a second 0.15 acre lot, also owned by the city, that lies within the larger lot.
Bean told the councilors he is renovating the house at 32 Davis Place, where he expects his granddaughter to live. The land next door, he said, has been neglected and become a dumping ground strewn with televisions, shopping carts, mattresses and "you name it" as well as a place where people loiter. He said that he has "run off a couple of people urinating on the property. He stressed that he has no intention of developing the property, but wants only to clean it up and "just make it look nice."
Bean has offered $1,000 for the property, which would be acquired by a boundary line adjustment, and has agreed to pay to conduct a survey, transfer the title and record the deed. Since the parcel would be carved out of two lots, its assessed value has only been estimated. If the transaction closed, the property would be returned to the tax rolls and its value reflected in the assessment of the lot at 32 Davis Place to which it would be added.
City Manager Scott Myers told the council that the Assessing Department estimated the value of the land Bean seeks to buy at between $6,000 and $7,000. Jon Duhamel, the assessor, said that adding the parcel to the lot at 32 David Place as Bean proposes would increase its value by $10,800.
In a memorandum, Planning Director Shanna Saunders noted that almost all the property is within the 75-foot wetland buffer along Jewett Brook where no vegetation can be removed or altered without a permit from the Planning Board.
Councilor Armand Bolduc (Ward 6) has urged his fellow councilors to proceed with the sale, calling the property "a piece of crap" and insisting the that the city has everything to gain and nothing to lose by selling it, even for $1,000.
Councilor David Bownes (Ward 2) urged the council to commission an appraisal of the property before scheduling a public hearing. "It's premature," he said, insisting "this is not the way to do business" and casting the lone dissenting vote against the motion to proceed.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 348