Save our quiet, family neighborhood from the campground project!
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This petition is against the 3160 Parade Road applications for variances and exceptions. The potential buyer is interested in making this residential property a commercial business. Please read letters from very concerned abutters below that want our quiet and peaceful neighborhood to stay just the way it is. Let's fight to shut down this campground and store! We need all the help and support we can get! Please sign and share, share, share!!
Below is the zoning board meeting with the unclear plan of the campground and store by the potential buyer and all the abutters voicing their concerns about the damage it could cause to our neighborhood...
Letter from abutters Onaliese and Brian Petrini...
To Whom It May Concern,
Before moving to our 3212 Parade Road address, we were previous renters in Weirs Beach. Although we enjoyed our time there, when we began our search for our first home, we decided that we wanted to be close to town, but far enough away to have acres of land, more peace and quiet and privacy. When we found our house, we were happy with the residential location and the 8 acres of land. We were also not close to our neighbors and it was the seclusion we were looking for.
The buyer of the land in question’s 95 acres abuts our land and is our whole backyard. The entire neighborhood enjoys the current atmosphere of the area. We in no way approve any land in our neighborhood becoming commercial. The main reason why we live here, along with our neighbors, is because it is residential and we don’t want to be surrounded by a business whatsoever.
I understand that the buyer would like to start a new life in New Hampshire, but so does my family. So did everyone else who have spent most of their lives in this area. We chose to start our life here and it is unfair for this woman to come and disrupt the quiet and secluded neighborhood we live in and always wanted. What about us? What about our start? Why does this woman have any sort of say in the neighborhood we all picked to live in? We were all here first and our idea of the perfect life is extremely different than the buyers. She doesn’t want our neighborhood. She wants to change it and we don’t want change. She doesn’t belong here with her crazy ideas.
The buyer has shared her intentions of what she would like her property to become. Although it may sound OK on paper, giving her the requested variances would be detrimental to our entire neighborhood. It would open up so many devastating possibilities that our neighborhood just doesn’t want at all. The rumor is that Bentley’s Saloon will be eventually be building on the property. Even if this is not true, and I hope to goodness it is not, giving her the ability to turn our residential community into commercial could make that nightmare a reality down the road. If not this saloon, what’s possibly next after she turns this land commercial? A hotel, a motel, an industrial park? Even with just a campground, I don’t want anyone in my back yard and potentially jeopardize the safety of my family, including my small daughter. My husband also likes to hunt our property and won’t be able to anymore if people are camping out there. Campers roam the area in which they camp in and I don’t want to run into anyone I don’t know on my property.
Although Parade Road is a busy road, the only commercial buildings are on the downtown Laconia side. This is a scenic gateway road connecting Meredith and Laconia. Not just the neighborhood enjoys the views, but both towns and tourists traveling through. Parade Road is a fairly quiet road the entire stretch. So many people own many acres of land and we don’t want an increase in traffic, loudness and commotion. It is fine the way it is.
The property is already notorious for accidents. Since moving here in 2014, we have lost a dog, deer, bears and turkeys have been killed, a motorcyclist severely injured, a truck crashed in front of our neighbors house, a car lost control and crashed into our rock wall and countless accidents at the Roller Coaster intersection. This all happened in less than 3 years and within .25 miles of the property. There was even an accident just last week (3/14/17) at the Rollercoaster road intersection. This is already a dangerous driving area and bringing in the type of traffic for this possible establishment is a terrible idea.
My husband and I currently do not have plans to sell our home. If this land becomes commercial, it would severely lower the selling price of our house. So now we have to suffer our peaceful life and possibly lose thousands of dollars because of this horrible idea? In what world is this even fair?
Bottom line, we just don’t want our lives to change. We don’t want our home to change and we surely do not want our neighborhood destroyed by this proposal. This is residential property for a reason and it should not change. The zoning was put in place for a reason. Some random person from Massachusetts should not change all our lives. We are hard working taxpayers of Laconia and our voice should matter the most. We moved here because we wanted to live here. Do not take what we have away from us. I don’t want my family and my neighbors to be exposed to this community devastation.
Onaliese Petrini and Brian Petrini
Letter from abutters April and Walter Costa...
To Whom It May Concern:
We are in opposition to the requested variances and exceptions for the above-referenced property. We are opposed to the four requests for these reasons:
1. The requested variances for a retail location, eating/drinking establishment and campground do not fit within the Transportation section of the 2007 Master Plan of the City of Laconia, Page 68, “Rural Road Issues…Residents like the character of these roadways in general and do not want to see commercial strip development or other changes alter them or their scenic nature.” “…the City may need to tighten up some of the existing land use regulations to protect them.”
2. Included in the 2007 Master Plan is a reference to Preservation and a 1982 report, “Historic Preservation Plan: Laconia, New Hampshire.” In addition to five recommended areas with an historic area designation, Parade Road was also recommended to be designated as a rural preservation area.
3. As seen in the Future Land Use Map on page 127 of the 2007 Laconia Master Plan it appears that the property in question falls within a square perimeter of land designated to be protected and considered fragile.
4. We moved to the abutting property at 3196 Parade Road in March of 2016. We were aware that Parade Road was a fairly busy road because of our previous visits to the Laconia/Meredith area over the last 10 – 15 years; however, once we moved in we found the road to be quite busy with ingress and egress to be difficult on occasion and at times quite dangerous. Due to the location of our driveway and the subject property and the curve and hill, we believe the increased traffic to access the “store, eating establishment, and campground” would, in fact, create high opportunity for increased accidents and traffic congestion.
5. If the approvals are granted and Ms. Miller decides to sell in a couple of years, there is then no guarantee that a larger, commercial operation such as Bentley’s of Maine or a KOA couldn’t come in and further develop the property. In the adverse, if Ms. Miller’s applications are approved and the campground/store/eating establishment/farm stand are built but then the business fails, the property becomes another eyesore like those leading into the Weirs that have remained vacant.
In addition to the items listed above, we have many more questions regarding what is proposed and the future use of the property.
1. Ms. Miller states in her Application for Special Exception for the campground that traffic coming into and leaving the property will be minimal.
a. We do not believe this will be minimal. Trucks with campers, RVs checking in for the weekend or leaving at the end of the weekend will further congest the road and will create further hazards from traffic traveling at 50+ mph down the hill.
b. If people are stopping at the “store” for purchases, that is additional traffic.
2. On “d” of the Application for Special Exception for Campground, RV/Tent Ms. Miller states that the sites are “seasonal.”
a. How many?
b. What type?
c. Full hook up?
d. What are the additional needs for water?
e. Can the water table support the needs without the neighboring wells failing?
f. If a well fails due to the increased water usage demands, then who pays for drilling a new well?
g. Where will the dump station or septic tanks be located with reference to 3196 Parade Rd.?
h. Is there a plan for a pavilion, play area, or bath house? Where will these be located?
i. How will noise generated from the campground be controlled? (We and our neighbors can already clearly hear music/concerts/bands from locations over on Route 3)
j. What is the plan for ensuring that the property line is respected and campers do not wander onto our property? Unfortunately, we will now be posting our property (no trespassing).
3. Ms. Miller’s letter of March 1, 2017 sent to the abutters makes mention of putting in a farm stand and raising her own goats, chickens, and cows.
a. Where would these animals be housed?
b. Where and how would waste from the animals be located and handled?
In closing, we are the newcomers to the area having moved here from Rhode Island in March of 2016, but we too have been coming to this area for the last 10 – 15 years. We have camped and we ride motorcycles. We made the decision a few years ago that “when we retired,” we would move to New Hampshire and we spent countless hours looking at different areas and homes. We found our perfect “retirement” home – a newer home with a little land set back from the road in a semi-rural area but yet close enough to town. We understood the property next door was for sale and would in time have a potential small subdivision.
We feel strongly that this proposed use of 3160 Parade Road would, in fact, negatively impact our property’s value and our quiet lifestyle. We do strongly object to the proposed applications.
April and Walter Costa
Letter from abutters Peter and Sharon Spanos...
To The Editor,
In one of the most unspoiled and bucolic areas of Laconia , there is an ill-conceived and ill-advised attempt to place a campground, eating and drinking establishment, and two stores. The address is 3160 Parade Road and the site is presently zoned rural- residential.
After two public hearings before the ZBA and two continuances owing to the lack of preparation and detail by the applicant, there will be a third and final hearing at city hall on Monday, April 17th ,at 7:00 PM.
Opposition to this proposal is vehement and unanimous within the immediate neighborhood and beyond. Since the environmental, safety, and commercial implications of this proposal are ominous and far-reaching, we want to urge all residents to attend. This is our city, and we must spare no effort in ensuring that it's scenic and unique qualities be preserved for future generations. If the request for a commercial variance were to be granted, any and all future commercial ventures would be on the table, including but not limited to restaurants and bars, presenting unforeseen consequences affecting traffic congestion, wetlands preservation, and perhaps most importantly, air quality.
The applicant's intention to feature one-hundred plus campground sites fails to take into account water, sewage, or traffic impact at an already congested, dangerous, and unlit intersection. If you think Parade Road/Rollercoaster Road traffic is congested during the summer and especially Motorcycle Week, you can only imagine the traffic this will bring to the area.
This campground traffic will also make it extremely difficult and dangerous for those who choose to take a scenic bicycle ride from Laconia to Meredith.
Peter and Sharon Spanos
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