Roller Coaster

Patrick Carron, attorney for Robert Kjellander, right, argues during a hearing in Belknap Superior Court last month about why the city of Laconia should not be allowed to impose state and local junkyard restrictions against his client's property on Roller Coaster Road. (Michael Mortensen/Laconia Daily Sun photo)

LACONIA — A superior court judge has ruled that a Roller Coaster Road resident has an illegal junkyard on his property, and has barred him from bringing any more material onto the land.

Judge James D. O’Neill III said in his ruling that Robert Kjellander “violated the Laconia zoning ordinance and there is [a distinct] danger of recurrent violations.”

The ruling, issued last Friday, comes after a hearing in Belknap County Superior Court on Aug. 30 at which the attorney for the city said there were dozens of derelict items — motor vehicles, boats, trailers and pieces of farm machinery — on the property situated on the corner of Roller Coaster and Parade roads just south of the Laconia-Meredith line.

A full trial on the case has been scheduled for next May. Kjellander’s attorney has asked for a jury trial, according to court records.

In the meantime, Kjellander must refrain from bringing  onto the property any more items which in the judge’s words “contribute to the junkyard condition,” unless Kjellander first obtains a zoning variance and site plan approval from the city.

In his ruling, O‘Neill rejected the argument by Kjellander’s attorney, Patrick Carron, that state and local junkyard laws do not apply to his client because he is not running a salvage business, but merely collecting odds and ends “to decorate his property or to fix.”

“The city’s inventory provides sufficient facts that the number and condition of vehicles on the property meet the definition of a junkyard,” O’Neill wrote.

If Kjellander were to violate the judge’s order, the city would likely move to have him found in contempt of court, Laura Spector-Morgan, the city’s attorney, said Tuesday.

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