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Danger of smoke pollution & forest fire hangs over zoning application

To The Daily Sun,

The Laconia Zoning Board is considering a request for a zoning special exception to create a campground, retail store, neighborhood store and eating and drinking establishment at 3160 Parade Road. I am an abutter, residing in Meredith, and sharing a common boundary with the subject property, and I want to address the serious health and safety issues involved in this request.

For my family and my neighborhood, the most serious concern is the danger of smoke pollution and of forest fire in the heavily-forested residential area of Windsong Place, Serenity Lane and Sleepy Hollow Road adjacent to the proposed campground. Not only do seven homes such as mine share a forest boundary with the subject property, but a total of 22 homes occupy the predominantly forested neighborhood, in which forest literally surrounds each house. The applicant stated at the March 20 Zoning Board Public hearing that she plans to have some 100 RV sites and an additional unspecified number of tent sites in the proposed campground, all of which would presumably allow open fires.

Our residential area is close to the proposed campground and would certainly be impacted by the smoke of more than 100 open fires — creating not just a nuisance pall of smoke, but an air-quality health hazard.

The forested land along the boundary slopes to the south, receiving strong sun exposure. The soil and the pine-oak-beach forest in that area dries out quickly in the spring and remains dry through the summer and fall. Open fires in such a setting and under such conditions would be a hazard to the many homes in our neighborhood which are surrounded by a characteristically dry forest. Other abutting homes on Parade Road and Pickerel Pond Road in Laconia would be subject to the same air pollution and forest fire dangers.

Due to Pickerel Pond and a large wetland, which do not allow easy access to that wooded area, it would be difficult to fight a fire in that forest. An additional complication is that the territory is in two different fire jurisdictions, so a forest fire starting in Laconia could quickly impact Meredith, where the fire department might not initially be alerted to respond.

There are many other reasons, including traffic volume and hazards, potential trespass, wetland impact, noise, possible unregulated use of firearms, the safety of neighborhood children, water supply and waste disposal problems of a campground and restaurant, and downgrading of the residential zoning protection of the area, to argue against granting the special exceptions.

For the safety and peace of mind of the residents in our adjoining Laconia and Meredith neighborhoods, I hope that the special exceptions which have been requested will be denied, maintaining the current zoning — and the security it provides — for our shared residential area.

Daniel Heyduk

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Dance the Decades event to benefit Animal League was great success

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of the board of directors of the Granite State Animal League, operators of the Franklin Animal Shelter, I want to thank everyone for attending our first "Dance the Decades" event. It was a great success despite the foul weather. The music was fantastic and the crowd was lots of fun. As always, the community support is assuring and heart-warming for our hard working, all-volunteer board of directors.

This event's success goes a very long way to support our never-ending mission to care for and place cats and dogs into their forever loving homes. If you were not there, you missed a very fun time. Honestly, it was a BLAST! Not to fear though, as we are already scheming on another "Dance the Decades" night for 2018! Keep checking www.franklinanimalshelter.com for details!

I also want to recognize and offer a HUGE THANK YOU to the Franklin Hannaford store for their kind donations and support, DJ Jason Wright for spinning a super mix all night long, Jim & Wendy Mayotte for their ongoing support and generous donation, and last — but definitely not least — Kim and the Franklin Elks Lodge 1280 for donating the use of their hall for our dance. This event would not have happened without all of your support.

Tom Seymour, President

Granite State Animal League
dba Franklin Animal Shelter

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