GILFORD — Taking the advice of their attorney, the Planning Board voted Monday night to deny a request from the Inns & Motels to erect 370 solar panels at 16 Kimball Road.
While the vote occurred during the deliberation portion of the meeting, applicant Williard Drew and his attorney Phil Brouillard said only that they would waive the 65-day rule on the time frame a board has to act once it's accepted an application as complete.
The town attorney recommended the Planning Board deny the request because the proposal for the 1.4-acre site at the intersection of Routes 11-B and 11-C does not constitute a reasonable use of the land.
N.H. State law says alternative energy sources "shall not be unreasonably limited by use of municipal zoning powers or the unreasonable interpretation of such powers."
Brouillard said again that there is no ordinance in Gilford that covers solar panels and during the July meeting said the Planning Board was "making it up as it" or flying by the seat of (its) pants."
Absent an ordinance, Brouillard and Drew felt the Planning Board and the town should have worked with them to make the project a reality.
In previous meetings, members of the Planning Board have said that the sheer size of the project makes it a primary use of a residential lot and not an ancillary use as is stated in the application.
Drew has said the power generated by the panels would provide enough electricity for his home and eight other homes on the property. The rest would be sold back into the grid.
With Monday's denial, Drew can appeal the decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:38
LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners yesterday told Lakes Region Public Access television station manager Denise Beauchaine that they would like to see a menu listing different options for coverage of their meetings and those of the County Convention so that they could develop of schedule of costs which could be included in the county budget.
LRPA provided coverage at $100 a meeting for the over 30 meetings which it has covered so far this year for Belknap County, including contentious meetings involving the commission and convention as they wrangled over the 2014 county budget, which is now the subject of a lawsuit in Belknap County Superior Court brought by the convention which seeks to undo transfers within the budget made by the commissioners after the budget was adopted.
At yesterday afternoon's commission meeting, Beauchaine asked the commissioners what their budgeting comfort level was and said that LRPA is looking to balance its costs with the service it provides and said that some meetings had cost LRPA as much as $350 to cover.
Commissioners said that a fee schedule, including costs for a second camera at some meetings, would allow them to better determine which meetings should be covered.
Beauchaine observed that there was no way to predict in advance how many meetings would warrant coverage and said that she will ask the board of directors of LRPA-TV to set a fee schedule when it meets next week so that she can bring that information to the commissioners.
Commissioner Steve Nedeau (R-Meredith) said that there has been a healthy partnership between LRPA-TV and the county and noted that the programs had attracted a large viewership around the county.
He asked what would happen if the county provided coverage of its own meetings and Beauchaine said that it might be possible for the county to apply through the city of Laconia to have MetroCast Cablevision provide equipment for the county.
She said that LRPA-TV no longer has a contract with MetroCast and under the terms of a new contract negotiated with member communities earlier this year, nor does it have signed contracts with any of the towns for which it has usually provided coverage.
The contracts with area communities are part of a new business model that the board of directors of LRPA-TV is attempting to implement in order to sustain its operations in the face of crumbling financial support from member communities, which used to fund its operations from MetroCast franchise fees.
The new plan calls for each of the dozen or so member communities served in the MetroCast franchise area to operate their own education and government channels (24 and 26) while LRPA will provide public access on Channel 25 as a regional channel which will air material from citizens, organizations and groups from any community which is a member of the LRPA.
The education and government channels will air only in the communities in which their programs originate but the high cost of becoming a public access provider, estimated at $85,000 a year by the LRPA-TV board, means that LRPA will likely be the only public access provider in the area.
One of changes in the contract has the annual $30,000 grant, which MetroCast has previously provided for LRPA-TV, ending. The grant provided one-quarter of LRPA's $126,000 operating budget.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 10:12
LACONIA — A white marble tombstone lying in Durkee Brook, just downstream from the bridge on Academy Street, is ridden with riddles.
The monument bears an inscription that reads "Mary E. Boyce, Wife of Charles H. Colby, Dec. 29" with the year, presumably of her death illegible. Suzanne Perley, who is in the process of editing and ordering the records of Bayside Cemetery, said that it was commonplace from around 1800 until the 1930s to remember a wife by her maiden name when inscribing her gravestone.
When the tombstone was reported to police, they suspected it had been taken from a gravesite in Union Cemetery across the street. However, John Perley, Suzanne's huband, president of the Union Cemetery Association, said there was no record that either a Mary E. Boyce or a Charles H. Colby was buried in the cemetery.
Suzanne Perley said that a Mary M. Boyce and a Charles F. Colby are buried there in separate plots in different sections of the cemetery and both headstones are still in place. But, she said there is no record of either a Mary E. Boyce or Charles H. Colby.
There are four other cemeteries in the city: Meredith Bridge , Hillside, St. Lambert's and Sacred Heart. The Parks and Recreation Departments maintains Meredith Bridge Cemetery at Cook's Court and Hillside Cemetery on Mechanic Street. Kevin Dunleavy said he was not aware of any missing tombstones, but would check his records. Those responsible for St. Lambert's Cemetery and Sacred Heart Cemetery have yet to be identified or contacted.
Meanwhile, genealogical records report that a Charles H. Colby, who was born in Canterbury, New Hampshire in 1840, married a Mary Boyce, then aged 17, on December 18,1861. There is no mention of her middle initial. The record cites Colby died in 1898 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Penacook, which lies within the city of Concord. There is no record of when Boyce died or where she was buried.
Meanwhile, there is a very heavy stone marking the grave of Mary E. Boyce resting in the bed of Durkee Brook, not at her head where it belongs.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:18
CORRECTION: The Gilford Planning Board site walk of the Arbo Ministries property at 14 Curtis Road is scheduled for August 27 at 4 p.m. The matter will be discussed at the board's next meeting on September 8. The date of the site walk was incorrectly reported in an article that ran on Page 1 of Wednesday's paper.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 01:09
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