To The Daily Sun,
Gail Ober's article in last Friday's Sun, headlined "Gilford article would prohibit churches," was not accurate and put a dark tone to the intent of our pending warrant article for Gilford's March ballot.
Churches are allowed and would continue to be allowed in Professional/Commercial and in Resort Commercial and Commercial zones by Special Exception. Had the reporter talked to Sue or me, we would have said that the Arbos, who operate a faith-based home business, are good neighbors who have done a nice job of keeping the old Guild property looking great, have operated their business quietly and respectfully, and seem to be doing well.
Secondly, the Gilford Zoning and Planning Boards, in our opinion, worked hard to learn the Arbos' needs for a home business and established some fair parameters for their business and the Curtis Road neighborhood. We hope the Arbo's successes continue. This requested zoning change will not prohibit a church if someone were to apply to build one here in the Limited Residential zone, but would require the granting of a variance.
Lastly, the 25-plus voters who signed our petition did not necessarily agree or disagree in whole or part, but felt strongly enough about the issue to see it brought to the voters in March. None of this would have made exciting news.
The author did report that we opposed the Arbos plan for a home business. We supported it with conditions that affected hours of operation, size of functions, traffic flow in a residential zone, etc. Our concerns were voluntarily met by the Arbos or were part of the Planning Board approval process. The Arbos are neighbors. They live here. We see them daily in their yard or working on their home. And there is no backlash against the Planning Board, as suggested.
Our petition makes the institutional use "Church" non-permitted in Limited Residential, bringing all four of Gilford's residential zones into alignment. The other four zones in Gilford are various Commercial or Industrial Zones and seem more appropriate to the establishment and building of a new church. There are lots available, good parking, major highway access, etc.
Arbo Ministries, which is home-based, is not affected by this zoning change at all. However, they or any other party that wished to build a new church in the Curtis Road neighborhood or anywhere in Gilford that is not commercially zoned would need a variance if voters approve the petition.
Adrian & Susan Curtis
- Category: Letters
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