To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Laconia City Manager Scott Myers:
I'd like to bring your attention to some issues with the placement of a caboose without Laconia Planning Board approval.
As one of the owners of 100A New Salem Street, we have lived with this Caboose since 1999 at our back door. It is within two feet at the closest point of our building. Richard Mitchell (AKA Canterbury Classic, Pitmans Freight Room) of 94 or 100 New Salem Street is the owner of the caboose. The Governor and Council removed Mitchell's request to renew his lease with the State of N.H. on September 8, 2004.
Mitchell went before the Planning Board on August 3, 1998 with a plan to bring in railroad cars on the leased area. The Planning Board on a motion by, "Bob Cunningham moved to table any further action on App. #98-021 TRC until such time as the issue of title is resolved between the relevant objecting parties. Motion carried."
At the next Planning Board meeting on October 18, 1998, the board made some conditions for the next Planning Board meeting to be held on December 7, 1998.
"1. A valid lease with the State of N.H. Bureau of Rail, be submitted for use of the railroad land.
2. A survey performed by a licensed surveyor be submitted showing existing conditions of 100 New Salem Street and any other land that is identified in the State of N.H. railroad lease, to include green space calculations, frontages and lot sizes. the survey plan shall meet City of Laconia zoning requirements.
3. The survey shall also include all rights of ways, easements and restrictions on said properties.
4. The survey plan shall note the railroad lease and the buildings on 100 New Salem Street shall be owned and operated by the same entity so that toilet facilities are always available for the railroad use."
At the January 4, 1999 Planning Board Meeting some conditions that were not met.
"3. The plan indicates that the property is subject to two easements, but the locations of these easements are not shown on the plan.
5. The fire Department's request for an 18-foot-wide access way for emergency access is not on the plan.
Action: R. Cunningham again moved to continue App. #98-021 to 2/1/1999."
Some time in 1999, after the last Planning Board meeting, Mitchell placed the Caboose behind our building on the land he was leasing at the time from the State of N.H. without Planning Board Approval. He hasn't moved the caboose since it was placed in its present location.
In the last lease that was approved by the Governor and Council on May 26, 1999 — and in the lease that wasn't approved by the Governor and Council on September 8, 2004 — Section 5.01 says, "The tenant shall comply will all laws, ordinances, rules and order of appropriate governmental authorities affecting the cleanliness, occupancy, and preservation of the demises during the the term of this lease. The tenant shall not use the premises in any manner that will disturb a neighbor's peaceful enjoyment of the other property. 5.02 The tenanat shall comply with all applicable laws, rules regulations and orders of any state, county and municipal authority which shall impose any duty or obligation upon the tenant with respect to land use regulations." Section 3.02 of both leases say, "All real or personal property taxes assessed by the City of Laconia as a result of the this lease will not be included in the rent and will be paid by the tenant. Failure of the tenant to pay any assessed real or personal taxes when due will be cause to terminate this lease." The 2000 lease added, "In accordance with RSA 72:23(b)"
At the Laconia Planning Board meeting on April 7, 2015, the WOW Trail presented a plan that says the "Existing railroad tracks and ties to be removed by the contractor". These are the same tracks that this caboose sits on. A fence will be built. When this happens there will be no access to the main line to move this caboose.
Their were arson fires on September 28, 2013 and October 31, 2013 at Pitman's Freight Room, one of which caught our building on fire. This caboose makes a good place to hide and staging area to set fires. Mitchell has placed old wooden debris under the caboose and has run an extension cord from Pitman's to the caboose to an outside light. One set of rear wheels are off the track. Water coming off our roof hits the caboose then hits the corner of our building, water coming off the caboose hits the corner of our building causing damage. Clearly the placement of this caboose does not meet the City of Laconia's setback requirements. This extension cord crosses our Right of Way and will be driven over.
Included is some attachments of pictures showing the wood under the caboose and extension cord which is hooked to a motion light.
Thank you for looking into these issues.
- Category: Letters
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