City of Laconia, NH
Belknap County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Authority. The WC Overlay District is established in accordance with the provisions of RSA 674:21, Innovative Land Use Controls and is considered to be an innovative land use control. Within the WC District, the Planning Board is authorized to administer and grant conditional use permits for certain types of development.
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05]
B. 
Purpose and intent. The purpose of this chapter, in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare, is to protect and regulate the land adjacent to water bodies, the use of wetlands and their buffer areas, as defined herein. The intent of this chapter is to:
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05]
(1) 
Ensure the protection of water wetland resources and vernal pools from activities that would adversely affect their functions and values to:
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07]
(a) 
Prevent or minimize soil erosion and sedimentation of surface waters and wetlands.
(b) 
Prevent the loss of fish and wildlife habitat.
(c) 
Prevent the degradation of surface and ground water quality and quantity.
(d) 
Prevent the loss or degradation of representative and rare examples of wetland plants and animals.
(e) 
Prevent the loss or degradation of valuable wetland systems and surface waters for education and research in natural sciences.
(f) 
Prevent damage of property and degradation of surface and ground waters by maintaining the capacity of wetlands in the watershed to store floodwaters and manage stormwater.
(g) 
Prevent the loss or degradation of a diversity of recreational benefits such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, bird watching and hiking.
(h) 
Prevent the loss of the visual and aesthetic qualities of wetlands including their contribution to open space, character and overall scenic beauty of the landscape.
(2) 
Ensure the protection of wetland and waterbody buffer areas from activities that would adversely affect their ability to protect wetlands from degradation to:
(a) 
Prevent erosion and sedimentation by stabilizing soil.
(b) 
Moderate the effects of stormwater runoff by filtering sediment, nutrients and harmful or toxic substances, and moderating thermal discharges.
(c) 
Protect and maintain wildlife habitat.
(d) 
Support and protect wetland plant species.
(e) 
Reduce the disturbances to wetland resources caused by intrusion of human activity.
(3) 
Prevent the expenditure of municipal funds for the purposes of providing and/or maintaining essential services and utilities which might be required as a result of the destruction or degradation of wetlands and the loss of water quality.
C. 
Establishment of the WC District.
(1) 
The WC District shall consist of all lands which meet the definition of wetlands, as specified in Article II, and wetland waterbody buffers as designated in this section, and vernal pools as defined in Article II.
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05; 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07]
(2) 
The WC District shall be superimposed upon other zoning districts in this chapter, and the regulations pertaining to the WC District shall be in addition to the regulations of the underlying districts and other City ordinances and regulations. Where any provision of these regulations imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other ordinance, rule, regulation or other provision of law, whichever provisions are more restrictive or impose higher standards shall control.
(3) 
Wetlands and vernal pools shall be delineated by a certified soil scientist as licensed by the State of New Hampshire.
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07]
D. 
Wetland and vernal pool buffers.
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07]
(1) 
Wetland buffer areas shall be defined as all land lying:
(a) 
Within 100 feet outside the boundary of any prime wetland.
(b) 
Within 75 feet outside the boundary of any non-prime wetland contiguous to public waters and including the following brooks: Durkee Brook, Jewett Brook, Black Brook, Langley Brook, Mellinger Brook and unnamed brooks designated A through I on the Official Zoning Map.
(c) 
Within 50 feet outside the boundary of any other wetland.
(2) 
Wetland buffer maintenance. Wetland buffers shall be retained and maintained in their natural condition. Where wetland buffer disturbance is permitted pursuant to this chapter, revegetation of the disturbed area is required.
(3) 
Vernal pool buffers. Vernal pool buffer areas shall be defined as all land lying within 100 feet outside the boundary of any vernal pool.
(4) 
Vernal pool buffer maintenance. Vernal pool buffers shall be retained and maintained in their natural condition. Where vernal pool buffer disturbance is permitted pursuant to this chapter, revegetation of the disturbed area is required.
E. 
Waterbody buffers. Waterbody buffers shall be retained and maintained in their natural condition. Where waterbody buffer disturbance is permitted pursuant to this chapter, revegetation of the disturbed area is required to the greatest extent possible. Waterbody buffers are defined as all land lying:
[Added 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05[1]]
(1) 
Within 75 feet of the following brooks: Durkee Brook, Jewett Brook, Black Brook, Langley Brook, Mellinger Brook and unnamed brooks designated A through I on the Official Zoning Map.
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07; 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 10.2012.10]
(2) 
Within 30 feet from the top of bank on both sides of intermittent and perennial streams. These streams are shown on and will correspond to the latest version of the United States Geological Survey Map.
[Added 6-25-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-235-17-01[2]]
[2]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection E(2) as Subsection E(3).
(3) 
Exceptions. Buffers on property with shoreline frontage on the Winnepesaukee River from the Messer Street Bridge to the river's entrance to Lake Winnisquam may be reduced to 15 feet, provided that a conditional use permit is granted and the following standards from Subsection I(2)(a), (c), (e), (f), (g) and (h). Standards for the granting a conditional use permit, are met. The applicant shall further demonstrate that the overall development of the site improves the current water quality of stormwater discharge.
[Amended 8-26-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-235]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsections E through I as Subsections F through J, respectively.
F. 
Permitted uses (exempt from Planning Board approval). The following uses are permitted in all wetlands and wetland and waterbody buffers, provided that they will not require the erection or construction of a building or structure; they will not require recontouring or grading of the land; no draining, dredging, filling or change in the flow of water will result; and the activity will not result in the pollution of wetlands and surface and ground waters.
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05; 8-13-2001 by Ord. No. 05.2001.05]
(1) 
Logging operations which:
(a) 
Utilize best management practices as described in Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations in New Hampshire; and
(b) 
Comply with all applicable state laws including obtaining and filing an intent-to-cut form according to RSA 79:10, and filing a complete Notification of Forest Management Activities Having Minimum Wetlands Impact according to RSA 482-A:3, or obtaining a State Wetlands Board permit according to RSA 482-A.
(2) 
Agricultural activities and operations as defined in RSA 21:34-a, Farm, Agriculture and Farming, and as governed by RSA 430 provided such activities and operations are in conformance with the most recent best management practices determined by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, and UNH Cooperative Extension.
(3) 
Outdoor recreational activities including hunting, hiking, fishing, swimming and boating.
(4) 
Wildlife or fisheries management activities.
(5) 
Educational activities and scientific research.
(6) 
Activities incidental to ordinary residential use such as normal ground maintenance including mowing, trimming of vegetation and removal of dead or diseased vegetation around a residence. This shall not include the regrading or recontouring of land or the clearing of vegetation.
(7) 
Alterations for access to a lot for single-family residential use, provided that a permit is obtained for such purpose from the State of New Hampshire Wetlands Board.
G. 
Prohibited uses. Uses which are prohibited in the WC District include the following:
(1) 
The establishment or expansion of:
(a) 
Salt storage sheds.
(b) 
Junkyards, resource recovery facilities, transfer stations or landfills.
(c) 
Solid or hazardous waste facilities.
(2) 
The bulk storage of chemicals, petroleum products or toxic and hazardous materials.
(3) 
The dumping or disposal of snow and ice collected from roadways and parking areas.
H. 
Uses requiring a conditional use permit. A conditional use permit is required for the following uses in the WC District:
(1) 
Activities that alter or remove soils or vegetation including clearing, dredging, draining or filling.
(2) 
Activities which alter the natural drainage system resulting in a change in the flow of water, water level or water table.
(3) 
Water impoundments for the purpose of creating a waterbody for wildlife, on-site detention of stormwater runoff and/or for recreational uses.
(4) 
The undertaking of a use not otherwise permitted in the WC District that is permitted in the underlying zoning district, if it can be shown that such proposed use is not in conflict with any and all of the purposes of the WC District.
I. 
Standards for granting of a conditional use permit.
(1) 
An application for a conditional use permit in the WC District shall be filed with the Planning Board pursuant to Article XII, Conditional Use Permits. The Planning Board shall refer the application to the Conservation Commission for review and comment through the plan review committee process. In acting on the application, the Board shall consider any report received from the Commission.
[Amended 8-13-2001 by Ord. No. 05.2001.05]
(2) 
In addition to the requirements of Article XII, the applicant shall provide adequate documentation in order for the Planning Board to make a finding that the proposed use or activity meets the following standards:
(a) 
The proposed activity or use is consistent with the purposes of the WC District.
(b) 
The proposed activity minimizes the degradation to or loss of wetlands, wetland buffers, vernal pools and vernal pool buffers and minimizes any adverse impact to the functions and values of wetlands, wetland buffers, vernal pools and vernal pool buffers as determined by a wetlands evaluation in accordance with the New Hampshire Method, New Hampshire authored by the Audubon Society, as amended.
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07.2008.07]
(c) 
The proposed activity minimizes the environmental impact to abutting or downstream property and/or hydrologically connected water and/or wetland resources.
(d) 
The proposed activity or use cannot practicably be located otherwise on the site to eliminate or reduce the impact to the wetland and/or its buffer area.
(e) 
Federal and/or state permit(s) have been received for the proposed activity in accordance with Wetlands Board Rules (N.H. Adm. Rules Wt 100-800), the State Programmatic General Permit and the Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit.
(f) 
Where applicable, proof of compliance with all other state and/or federal regulations has been received.
(g) 
The proposed activity, when being considered, whether concurrently with subdivision or site plan applications or not, shall take into account future development requirements or possibilities pertinent to the land under consideration and shall reasonably provide therefor. Lots shall be designed to minimize future alterations to wetlands and wetland buffers.
[Added 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
(h) 
The activity has been designed using the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the USDA - Soil Conservation Service and the Rockingham County Conservation District, Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control, A Handbook for Urban and Developing Areas in New Hampshire, August 1992, as may be amended and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Water Supply and Pollution Control Division Best Management Practices for Urban Stormwater Runoff, January 1996, as may be amended.
[Added 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05]
(3) 
The Planning Board, in acting on an application for a conditional use permit in the WC District, may attach conditions to its approval, including but not limited to requirements such as more extensive buffers, additional plantings in areas to be revegetated, an increase in the proposed amount of green space and the like. When such additional conditions are imposed, the Planning Board shall be governed by the standards as set forth in Subsection I(2) above.
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05]
J. 
Subsurface disposal systems. The following conditions, based on characteristics of the receiving soil as they relate to United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service drainage classes, shall dictate the setback requirements for all new leaching portions of new septic systems, as follows:
(1) 
Where the receiving soil downgradient of the leaching portions of the septic system is a porous sand and gravel material with a percolation rate faster than two minutes per inch, the setback shall be at least 125 feet from a wetland.
(2) 
For soils with restrictive layers within 18 inches of the natural soil surface, the setback shall be at least 100 feet from a wetland.
(3) 
For all other soil conditions, the setback shall be at least 75 feet from a wetland.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FLOOD BOUNDARY AND FLOODWAY MAP
The official map of the City of Laconia on which FEMA has delineated the regulatory floodway. This map should not be used to determine the correct flood hazard zone or base flood elevation. The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) will be used to make determinations of flood hazard zones and base flood elevations.
FLOODING, AREA OF SHALLOW
A designated AO, AH or VO Zone on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with a one-percent or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow. This definition is for purposes of application of the Floodplain District provisions.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map incorporated with this section on which FEMA has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the City of Laconia.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
An examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination, evaluation and determination of mudslide (i.e., mudflow) and/or flood-related erosion hazards.
FLOODPLAIN OR FLOOD-PRONE AREA
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. This definition is for purposes of application of the Floodplain District provisions.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents. This definition is for purposes of application of the Floodplain District provisions.
FLOODWAY, REGULATORY
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot at any point. These areas are designated as floodways on the Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps. This definition is for purposes of application of the Floodplain District provisions.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Any structure that is:
A. 
Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
B. 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
C. 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
D. 
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
(1) 
By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; or
(2) 
Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
For the purposes of determining insurance rates, structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of an official FIRM or after December 31, 1974, whichever is later, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. For floodplain management purposes, "new construction" means structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle that is:
A. 
Built on a single chassis;
B. 
Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
C. 
Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and
D. 
Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA
The land in the floodplain within the City of Laconia subject to a one-percent or greater possibility of flooding in any given year. The area is designated on the FIRM as Zones A and A1-30.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
Includes substantial improvements, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The "actual start" means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations, or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or part of the main structure.
STRUCTURE
For floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally aboveground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
A. 
Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration, or improvements to a structure in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure. The market value should equal:
(1) 
The appraised value prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement; or
(2) 
In the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring.
B. 
For the purposes of this definition, "substantial improvement" is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. This term includes structures that have incurred substantial damage, regardless of actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include any project for improvement to a structure required to comply with existing health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions or any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.
VIOLATION
The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community's floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required under § 235-18B(4), B(7)(b)[2][c], or B(6)(c) and (d) of this section is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
A. 
The Floodplain District shall consist of all lands designated as special flood hazard areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its Flood Insurance Study for the City of Laconia, New Hampshire, together with the associated Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps of the City of Laconia, dated August 1980, which are declared to be a part of this chapter.
B. 
The following regulations shall apply to all lands designated as special flood hazard areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its Flood Insurance Study for the City of Laconia, New Hampshire, together with the associated Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps of the City of Laconia, dated August 1980, which are declared to be a part of this chapter.
(1) 
All proposed development in any special flood hazard areas shall require a permit.
(2) 
The Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall review all building permit applications for new construction or substantial improvements to determine whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding. The market value of the structure shall be the appraised value of the structure prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement or, in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring. If a proposed building site is in a special flood hazard area, all new construction and substantial improvements shall be:
(a) 
Designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy.
(b) 
Constructed with materials resistant to flood damage.
(c) 
Constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damages.
(d) 
Constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
(3) 
Where new and replacement water and sewer systems (including on-site systems) are proposed in a special flood hazard area, the applicant shall provide the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee with assurance that these systems will be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharges from the systems into floodwaters, and on-site waste disposal systems will be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during periods of flooding.
(4) 
The Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall maintain for public inspection and furnish upon request any certification of floodproofing and the as-built elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures and include whether or not such structures contain a basement. If the structure has been floodproofed, the as-built elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed is required. This information must be furnished by the applicant.
(5) 
The Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall review proposed developments to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C. § 1334. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to certify these assurances to the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee.
(6) 
Development involving watercourses.
(a) 
In riverine situations, prior to the alteration or relocation of a watercourse, the applicant for such authorization shall notify the Wetlands Bureau of the New Hampshire Environmental Services Department and submit copies of such notification to the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee in addition to the copies required by RSA 482-A:3. Further, the applicant shall be required to submit copies of said notification to those adjacent communities as determined by the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee, including notice of all scheduled hearings before the Wetlands Bureau.
(b) 
Within the altered or relocated portion of any watercourse, the applicant shall submit to the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee certification provided by a registered professional engineer assuring that the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse has been maintained.
(c) 
Along watercourses that have a designated regulatory floodway, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development are allowed within the designated regulatory floodway unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practices that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the base flood discharge.
(d) 
Until a regulatory floodway is designated along watercourses, no new construction, substantial improvements or other development (including fill) shall be permitted within Zone A1-30 on the FIRM, unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the community.
(e) 
The Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any floodway data available from federal, state, or other sources as criteria for requiring that all development located in Zone A meet the following floodway requirement: No encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development are allowed within the floodway that would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the flood discharge.
(7) 
Determination of one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(a) 
In special flood hazard areas, the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall determine the one-hundred-year flood elevation in the following order of precedence, according to the data available:
[1] 
In Zones A1 - 30, refer to the elevation data provided in the community's Flood Insurance Study and accompanying FIRM.
[2] 
In unnumbered A Zones, the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any one-hundred-year flood elevation data available from federal, state, development proposals submitted to the community (for example, subdivisions, site approvals, etc.) or other source.
[3] 
In Zone AO, the one-hundred-year flood elevation is determined by adding the elevation of the highest adjacent grade to the depth number specified on the FIRM or, if no depth number is specified on the FIRM, at least two feet.
(b) 
The Director of Planning and Community Development's or his or her designee's one-hundred-year flood elevation determination will be used as criteria for requiring in Zones A1-30, AO and A that:
[1] 
All new construction and substantial improvements of residential structures have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the one-hundred-year flood level.
[2] 
All new construction and substantial improvements of nonresidential structures have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the one-hundred-year flood level or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:
[a] 
Be floodproofed so that below the one-hundred-year flood elevation the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water.
[b] 
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effects of buoyancy.
[c] 
Be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this section.
[3] 
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within special flood hazard areas shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at or above the base flood level and be securely anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include but are not limited to use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
[4] 
For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding are permitted, provided that the enclosed areas meet the following requirements: the enclosed area is unfinished or flood-resistant, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage; the area is not a basement; and the area shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: a minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
[5] 
Proposed structures to be located on slopes in special flood hazard areas, Zones AH and AD, shall include adequate drainage paths to guide floodwaters around and away from the proposed structures.
[6] 
All recreational vehicles placed on sites within Zones A and A1-30 shall either:
[a] 
Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days;
[b] 
Be fully licensed and ready for highway use; or
[c] 
Meet all standards of § 235-18B(1) of this section and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes in § 235-18B(7)(b)[3] of this section.
Note: A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick-disconnect-type utilities and security devices, and has no permanently attached additions.
(8) 
Variances and appeals.
(a) 
Any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Building Inspector made under this ordinance may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as set forth in RSA 676:5.
(b) 
If the applicant, upon appeal, requests a variance as authorized by RSA 674:33, 1(b), the applicant shall have the burden of showing in addition to the usual variance standards under state law that:
[1] 
The variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense.
[2] 
If the requested variance is for activity within a designated regulatory floodway, no increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge will result.
[3] 
The variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(c) 
Notification.
[1] 
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall notify the applicant, in writing, that:
[a] 
The issuance of a variance to construct below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to amounts as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage; and
[b] 
Such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property.
[2] 
Such notification shall be maintained with a record of all variance actions.
(d) 
The community shall:
[1] 
Maintain a record of all variance actions, including the justification for their issuance; and
[2] 
Report such variances issued in its annual or biennial report submitted to FEMA's Federal Insurance Administrator.
C. 
Severability: The invalidity of any section or provision of this section shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.
A. 
Authority. The SP District is established in accordance with the provisions of RSA 483-B:8, Shoreland Protection Act, Municipal Authority.
B. 
Purpose and intent. The purpose of the SP District is to establish standard for the use and development of shorelands adjacent to public waters, as defined herein. The intent of this chapter is to minimize the degradation of shorelands, protect water quality, and assure the retention of benefits provided by such shorelands, including but not necessarily limited to:
[Amended 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(1) 
Maintenance of safe and healthy conditions.
(2) 
Prevention and/or control of water pollution.
(3) 
Protection of fish, bird and wildlife habitat.
(4) 
Reduction or elimination of flooding and accelerated erosion.
(5) 
Protection of wetlands and their important natural functions.
(6) 
Maintenance of water quantity and related stream flows during low flow periods.
(7) 
Protection of shoreland cover as a means of maintaining water quality.
(8) 
The conservation and protection of natural beauty and the scenic qualities which are critical attributes of the City of Laconia.
(9) 
Protection of the economic benefits that the natural beauty and the scenic qualities shoreland cover provide to tourism.
C. 
Establishment of the SP District. The SP District shall include all land within 250 feet of the reference line of public waters as listed below. The SP District shall be superimposed upon other zoning districts in this chapter, and the regulations pertaining to the SP District shall be in addition to the regulations of the underlying districts and other City ordinances and regulations. Where any provision of these regulations imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other ordinance, rule, regulation or other provision of law, whichever provisions are more restrictive or impose higher standards shall control, except where specifically exempted. The SP District is established in the following areas:
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
(1) 
Lake Winnipesaukee from the Meredith Town line southeasterly to the intersection of Lakeside Avenue and Centenary Avenue and from the Gilford Town line westerly to the Commercial Resort District boundary line;
(2) 
The westerly side of Paugus Bay from Hilliard Road at Moultons Cove, southerly to the railroad crossing of School Street;
(3) 
The easterly side of Paugus Bay from the boundary line shared by Tax Lots Nos. 75-248-2 and 74-248-4 southerly to the boundary line shared by Tax Lot Nos. 62-23-4 and 62-248-6 at the intersection of Weirs Boulevard, White Oaks Road and Lake Street;
(4) 
Lake Opechee from a point on a southwesterly projection of the center line of Fairmont Street, northwesterly to the most northerly point of the lake and continuing southeasterly to the Messer Street Bridge;
(5) 
The entire shoreline of Pickerel Pond; and
(6) 
Winnisquam Lake from the Meredith Town line, southeasterly to a point on a southwesterly projection of the center line of Fenton Street.
D. 
Prohibited uses. The following uses, whether as defined in this chapter or as the terms are commonly understood, are prohibited in the SP District:
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
(1) 
Establishment or expansion of salt storage sheds, junkyards and solid or hazardous waste facilities.
(2) 
Use of fertilizer, particularly those containing phosphorus, with the following exceptions:
[Amended 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(a) 
Use of lime and/or wood ash; or
(b) 
In conjunction with agricultural activities and operations.
(3) 
Bulk storage of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.
[Amended 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(a) 
The use and application of pesticides and herbicides.
(4) 
Bulk storage of petroleum products or hazardous materials.
(5) 
Sand and gravel excavations as defined in RSA 155-E, Local Regulation, Excavation.
(6) 
Processing of excavated materials.
(7) 
Dumping or disposal of snow and ice collected from roadways or parking areas outside the district.
(8) 
Car washing facilities.
(9) 
Auto repair and body shops.
(10) 
Chemical and bacteriological laboratories.
(11) 
Commercial painting, wood preserving and furniture stripping.
(12) 
Dry cleaning.
(13) 
Electronic circuit assembly.
(14) 
Laundromats unless connected to a municipal sewer system.
(15) 
Metal plating.
(16) 
Photographic processing.
(17) 
Printing.
(18) 
Invasive species as listed under New Hampshire DES banned invasive species list.
[Added 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(19) 
The definition of "hazardous waste" as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency: "Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, gases, or sludges. They can be discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides, or the by-products of manufacturing processes." (See http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard for a more detailed list.)
[Added 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
E. 
Subsurface waste disposal systems.
(1) 
The minimum lot size for new lots in areas not served by municipal sewer shall be as follows:
(a) 
Where the lot is served by a municipal water system, the minimum lot size shall be one acre, or as determined by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control, whichever is the larger; or
(b) 
Where a municipal water system is not available to serve the lot, the minimum lot size shall be two acres, or as determined by the NHDES, Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control, whichever is the larger.
(2) 
All new lots created within the protected shoreland that are not served by a municipal sewer system are subject to subdivision approval by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in accordance with the Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control publication Subdivision and Individual Disposal System Design Rules, Env-Ws 1000.
(3) 
All subsurface waste disposal systems must be designed and installed in accordance with the NHDES, Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control, publication Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules, Env-Ws 1000.
(4) 
The following conditions, based on the characteristics of the receiving soil as they relate to United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service drainage classes, shall dictate the setback requirements for all new leaching portions of new septic systems, as follows:
(a) 
Adjacent to freshwater bodies:
[1] 
Where the receiving soil downgradient of the leaching portions of the septic system is porous sand and gravel material with a percolation rate faster than two minutes per inch, the setback shall be at least 125 feet from the reference line.
[2] 
For soils with restrictive layers within 18 inches of the natural soil surface, the setback shall be at least 100 feet from the reference line.
[3] 
For all other soil conditions, the setback shall be at least 75 feet from the reference line.
(b) 
Adjacent to rivers, the setback shall be at least 75 feet from the reference line.
F. 
Minimum requirements within specified areas of the SP District.
(1) 
Vegetative buffer requirements.
(a) 
Whenever property is developed or redeveloped, a vegetative buffer shall be maintained or established within 50 feet of the reference line. We recommend that this buffer be composed of a variety of native and/or noninvasive species. The purpose of this buffer shall be to protect the quality of public waters by minimizing erosion, preventing siltation and turbidity, stabilizing soils, preventing excess nutrients and chemical pollution, maintaining natural water temperatures, maintaining a natural tree canopy and understory, preserving fish, bird and wildlife habitat and respecting the overall natural conditions of the protected shoreland.
[Amended 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(b) 
Within this area, dead, diseased, unsafe, noxious or fallen trees or saplings may be removed, provided that dead and living trees that provide dens and nesting places for wildlife are encouraged to be preserved.
(c) 
Within the vegetative buffer, the following shall apply:
[1] 
The existing natural shoreline shall not be disturbed except in compliance with all local, state (New Hampshire Wetlands Board New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules Wt. 100-800) and federal regulations.
[2] 
Existing trees of less than four inches in diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground may be removed, and larger trees may be pruned, provided that a well-distributed stand of trees is maintained and that disturbance of the soil and forest floor is minimized.
(d) 
If invasive species as listed under New Hampshire DES banned invasive species list are encountered within the construction area, they must be made not viable and properly disposed of.
[Added 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(2) 
Development standards.
(a) 
New lots; cluster development.
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
[1] 
New lots in conventional subdivisions shall have a minimum shoreland frontage of 150 feet.
[2] 
Cluster developments which grant exclusive shorefront access to dwelling units shall have a minimum average of 150 feet of shoreline per dwelling unit granted exclusive access rights.
[3] 
Cluster developments which provide shared shorefront access shall meet the requirements for § 235-41G, Common beach lot.
(b) 
New primary structures and additions to existing structures shall be set back at least 50 feet from the reference line of public waters, provided that no disturbance of the vegetative buffer area occurs within 50 feet of the reference line and that any disturbance within 50 feet of the reference line is revegetated with a variety of native and/or noninvasive species and stabilized.
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10; 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(c) 
No primary structure or additions thereto shall exceed 35 feet in height.
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
(d) 
Total green space shall be no less than 70% of a lot. Within cluster developments, total green space shall be no less than 70% of the total development area utilized to calculate unit density.
[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 10.97.10]
(e) 
Roads and/or driveways shall be set back at least 50 feet from the reference line and shall be designed to minimize disturbance to existing natural vegetation and topography, except for bridges and bridge approaches and access ways for fire-fighting equipment.
(f) 
Water-dependent uses and structures, including but not necessarily limited to boathouses, beaches, docks and moorings, are permitted subject to receipt of a federal and/or state permit(s) in accordance with Wetlands Board Rules (New Hampshire Adm. Rules Wt 100-800), the State Programmatic General Permit and the Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit, and any other applicable state and/or federal regulations.
(3) 
Common beaches. Standards and provisions relating to shorefront lots which are intended for common access by non-shoreland property owners, within a development or subdivision which owns or has control over the common land, are addressed in Article VI, Supplementary Provisions.
(4) 
Nonconforming lots of record. The use of nonconforming lots of record within the SP District is addressed in Article X, Nonconforming Lots, Uses and Structures.
(5) 
Additional requirements for a building permit in the SP District. Application materials for a building permit in the SP District shall include the following:
(a) 
Photographs of the lot that display the extent of the existing vegetative buffer.
(b) 
A sketch plan that indicates the location and extent of existing stands of trees, shrub groups, grassed areas, exposed soil, and rock outcrop.
(c) 
A sketch plan indicating existing and proposed buildings, green space, septic systems and areas of disturbance.
(d) 
Include a sketch and photographs of the location of invasive milfoil in and around any docking structures.
[Added 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
(6) 
No stumps can be removed within 50 feet of the shoreline, although they can be ground down.
[Added 8-13-2012 by Ord. No. 09.2012.09]
A. 
The Commercial Core Parking Overlay District shall consist of all property lying within the area described as follows: Beginning at a point where Church Street (44) crosses the Winnipesaukee River, then running southerly and then southwesterly along the center line of the river to a point where Fair Street crosses the river; then running northerly along the center line of Fair Street and continuing northerly in this same direction to the boundary between MSL 441-74-25 & 26 to the rear boundary of 441-74-26; then northeasterly along said rear boundary to Cross Street (58) to the rear boundary of 441-167-29; then easterly along said rear boundary and continuing along the rear boundary of 441-167-30 & 31; then westerly along the boundary between 443-58-21 and 443-167-4 to the rear boundary of 443-167-4; then along said rear boundary to the boundary between 443-186-10 and 443-167-5 & 6; then easterly along the boundary between 443-167-6 and 443-186-8; then along the boundary between 443-186-8 and 443-186-7 to Pleasant Street (186); then easterly along the center line of Pleasant Street (186) to the boundary between Lots 443-186-79 & 80; along said boundary and continuing along the boundary between 443-186-79 and 443-167-81 and then westerly along the boundary 443-186-79; then northwesterly along the boundary between 424-101-67 and 424-101-79 to Harvard Street (101); then easterly along the center line of Harvard Street to Main Street (142); then northerly along Main Street (142) to the boundary between lots 424-142-78 & 77; then easterly along said boundary and continuing easterly along the rear boundary of 424-176-26; then turning south and continuing southerly along the boundary between 424-142-78 and 424-176-23 to and across the State of NH RR to and along the boundary between 432-44-1 (library) and 425-158-1 (church) to Church Street (44); then along the center line of Church Street (44) to the point of beginning.
[Amended 5-22-2000 by Ord. No. 05.2000.05]
B. 
The Commercial Core Parking Overlay District is intended to recognize and encourage the special aggregation and concentration of uses that occur and are desired in the downtown commercial core area, traditionally referred to as the "central business district." This area is characterized by a high intensity of use, a dense and connective fabric of buildings and a dynamic, ever-changing mix of uses. This density of use generates high parking demand and is typically characterized by multipurpose vehicle trips. Sufficient and reasonably convenient parking in the commercial core area should be provided through joint public and private efforts on a block and/or district level.
A. 
The Housing Redevelopment Overlay District is established in order to promote the redevelopment of affordable housing units, to encourage investment in multiunit housing stock, to increase the quality of living conditions for renters, to provide rental housing in close proximity to the central business district and to preserve the character of the City's urban neighborhoods. This district provides opportunity for the redevelopment of properties with duplex and multiunit housing stock in densities similar to those initially constructed or currently existing within the district.
B. 
Requirements for the Housing Redevelopment Overlay District (HROD) shall be as stated in the underlying zoning district except as follows:
(1) 
Lots eligible for redevelopment.
(a) 
Duplex and multifamily housing lots. Lots developed for duplex or multifamily housing as indicated in the City Assessor's records as of July 17, 1995, may be redeveloped for duplex and multifamily housing.
(b) 
Single and undeveloped lots. Lots developed for single-family housing and undeveloped lots existing as indicated in the City Assessor's records as of July 17, 1995, may be included in a consolidation for redevelopment, provided that the area of the lots does not exceed 25% of the total lot area to be redeveloped.
(c) 
Nonresidential lots. Redevelopment under this section shall not include lots which have nonresidential uses as their primary use.
(2) 
Lot consolidation. Lots which meet the requirements under Subsection B(1) above and the requirements below may be consolidated for redevelopment under this section.
(a) 
Contiguous lots: lots which face parallel streets and share a minimum of 25 feet of contiguous area along property lines; or
(b) 
Lots which are adjacent to one another, have frontage along the same street and share a minimum of 50% of the length of contiguous property lines as of July 17, 1995.
(3) 
Density permitted. Unit density within the district shall be computed as the total number of units divided by the total parcel acreage. Density is limited to 12 units per acre or the current unit density of the redevelopment area, whichever is less.
(4) 
Green space. A minimum of 25% of the lot area shall be dedicated to green space.
(5) 
Setbacks. Minimum setbacks from property lines shall be as follows:
(a) 
Front setback: average of the setbacks of the existing dwellings or buildings on the immediately adjacent lots or 10 feet, whichever is greater.
(b) 
Side setback: 10 feet of the distance of the existing dwelling to the property line, whichever is less.
(c) 
Rear setback: 15 feet or the distance of the existing dwelling to the property line, whichever is less.
[Added 7-8-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-235-21.1]
A. 
The Performance Zoning Overlay District is adopted as an innovative land use control pursuant to RSA 674:21. The provisions of Subsections B through F of this section shall apply to any lot encompassed by the boundaries of the Urban Commercial (UC) Zone, and Parcels 318-155-1, 318-538-1.1, 332-404-1, 296-155-1, 333-155-1, 333-155-2, 363-155-1, and 363-155-2. These provisions shall not apply to:
(1) 
Residential parcels containing four or fewer units of housing.
(2) 
Nonresidential parcels proposing additions to, or expansion of, existing uses resulting in an increase of less than 3,000 square feet of gross floor space.
(3) 
Residential parcels proposed to be changed to nonresidential use(s) or mixed residential and nonresidential uses, resulting in less than 3,000 square feet of gross floor space.
B. 
In accordance with RSA 674:21, l(i), the intent of these provisions is to promote flexibility in redevelopment of parcels in the UC Zone, and Parcels 318-155-1, 318-538-1.1, 332-404-1, 296-155-1, 333-155-1, 333-155-2, 363-155-1, and 363-155-2, based upon a development plan which is consistent with the City of Laconia Master Plan. The process allows flexibility for a redevelopment project to be proposed largely independent from the following current land use regulations: the selection of land uses, density, setbacks, signs, buffers, building heights, lot sizes, lot dimensions, and parking requirements otherwise applicable to the property.
C. 
The Planning Board may grant conditional use permits, consistent with the criteria noted below. An applicant is not entitled to a conditional use permit, and the Planning Board may, in its discretion, decline to grant such permit if the Board determines that such permit is not justified or warranted in accordance with the below criteria and the intent of this regulation. This provision is adopted as an innovative land use control pursuant to RSA 674:21, II, and the Planning Board is vested with sole authority to administer it and to grant the conditional use permits. All other zoning regulations shall apply, including, but not limited to, steep slope regulations and wetland and wetland buffers.
D. 
As part of the site plan approval process for redevelopment in the UC Zone, and Parcels 318-155-1, 318-538-1.1, 332-404-1, 296-155-1, 333-155-1, 333-155-2, 363-155-1, and 363-155-2, the applicant/owner shall be required to prepare an overall development plan for the entire parcel if it exceeds five acres in total size or if the plan is combining three or more lots of any size; otherwise a traditional site plan shall be submitted. The overall development plan shall show existing site conditions and proposed development, including the general types, locations and intensities of proposed land uses and proposed traffic and pedestrian flows, and shall generally indicate how the proposed development of the site will impact municipal services and facilities and abutting properties.
E. 
Criteria.
(1) 
The overall development plan shall meet the following criteria for redevelopment:
(a) 
Creating a well-planned and integrated development which may include a mixture of land uses, including residential, retail, office, entertainment, hotels, restaurants, or other uses compatible with adjacent parcels that enhance the overall community.
(b) 
Mitigating negative impacts on traffic, public utilities, municipal services, and natural resources.
(c) 
Limiting new access points on existing streets.
(d) 
Providing transitions between existing and proposed land uses which protect residential abutters.
(e) 
Providing high-quality site planning and architectural, landscaping and signage designs that meet the design standards in the Site Plan Review Regulations.
(f) 
Minimizing views of large parking lots from existing streets.
(g) 
Creating pedestrian and vehicular links to abutting parcels.
(h) 
Establishing open space and pedestrian amenities, including usable common land and wide sidewalks.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall have sole authority for approval of an overall development plan based on the criteria noted above. The Board may approve amendments or revisions to a previously approved overall development plan.
F. 
All subsequent site plans and/or subdivisions submitted to the Planning Board for approval within the parcel shall conform to the overall development plan, if one was required, as well as these provisions and the Subdivision and/or Site Plan Review Regulations, as applicable. The Planning Board may adopt additional performance standards for large-scale redevelopment projects as part of its regulations.
[Added 12-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-235-21.2]
A. 
Purpose. This section establishes an Historic Overlay District (HOD) in the City of Laconia pursuant to RSA 673:4 and 674:45 through 674:50. The purpose of the HOD is to preserve and promote the historic, cultural, educational, economic, and general welfare of the community by:
(1) 
Protecting and preserving structures, places, and properties that reflect elements of the cultural, social, economic, and political heritage of the City;
(2) 
Promoting the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of structures and places of historical, architectural, and community value as well as vistas of significance within the HOD;
(3) 
Conserving property values in the HOD;
(4) 
Protecting and enhancing the attractiveness of the HOD;
(5) 
Promoting the use of the HOD for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the citizens of the City.
B. 
Historic District Commission.
(1) 
Organization, membership, and procedures.
(a) 
Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the City Council.
(b) 
The Commission shall consist of five regular members and up to two alternate members. All members shall be residents of the City of Laconia; one shall be a member of the Laconia City Council, and one shall be a member of the Laconia Planning Board. In determining the qualifications of a Commission member, consideration will be placed on his or her demonstrated interest and ability to understand, appreciate and promote the purpose of the District.
(c) 
The Commission members shall be appointed for staggered three-year terms. Members shall serve without compensation. In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, interim appointments may be made to complete any unexpired term.
(d) 
The Commission shall annually elect a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary from among its membership.
(e) 
The Commission may from time to time adopt and amend, with the approval of the City Council and public input, such rules and regulations as are consistent with the intention of this chapter and of state enabling legislation.
(f) 
The Commission shall develop and submit an annual report and request for funds to the City Council. Subject to appropriations or other income, the Commission may employ clerical and technical assistants or consultants. The Historic District Commission may accept gifts of money or services, or grants, and may hold or expend such gifts or grants for the purposes of this chapter in accordance with the City's ordinances and policies and state RSAs. The Commission shall have an annual budget as appropriated by the City Council, and the budget will be managed by the Commission in cooperation with the Planning Department.
(g) 
The decisions of the Commission shall be by vote of the majority of the Commission members, meaning all votes to approve or deny must be by three or more members regardless of the number of members present.
(2) 
Powers and duties.
(a) 
The Historic District Commission shall review applications within the Historic Overlay District ("Historic District" or "District"), approving, approving with conditions, or denying applications, as appropriate. The HDC may assume any other responsibilities related to the Historic District consistent with RSA 674:46-a.
(b) 
The Historic District Commission may consult and work in conjunction with the Heritage Commission toward a broader role in promoting historic preservation in general.
(c) 
Pursuant to RSA 674:44-b, the Historic District Commission may:
[1] 
Call upon City staff, citizens, abutters to applicants, and professionals, as it sees fit, for input, consultation, and recommendations on matters before the Commission.
[2] 
Conduct small area or community-wide surveys of historic, architectural, and cultural resources. This activity could be in conjunction with the Heritage Commission.
[3] 
Nominate structures and districts for listing in the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places and review all proposed National Register nominations within the City; keep a record of all properties that are included in local historic districts, listed in the National Register, or determined eligible for National Register listing. This activity could be in conjunction with the Heritage Commission.
[4] 
Prepare historic resources sections of local master plans and ensure that the impacts on historical resources are considered at every level of local decisionmaking.
[5] 
Advise other local, state, and federal government entities about historical, architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources, and advocate for the identification, protection, and preservation of these resources.
[6] 
Review applications for zoning amendments, variances, conditional uses, and other approvals affecting property in the Historic District.
[7] 
Recommend to the Planning Board and City Council amendments to this section.
[8] 
Investigate and recommend to the Planning Board and City Council new areas for designation as historic districts.
[9] 
Act as a liaison between local government and individuals or organizations concerned with historic preservation.
[10] 
Educate municipal officials, historic district property owners, owners of other historic properties, and the general public about the Historic District and historic preservation in general.
[11] 
Participate in informational, advisory, and policy setting meetings about historic preservation issues, historic district commissions, heritage commissions, and the Certified Local Government Program of the National Park Service.
[12] 
Develop and administer a system of markers and monuments recognizing individual properties in the Historic District with the cooperation of the property owner.
[13] 
Coordinate with other City boards in the review of items, such as lighting or parking areas, in the Historic District or immediately abutting that might also be subject to review by those boards.
C. 
Designation of Historic District.
(1) 
Procedures for designation. The HOD exists as a zoning overlay district. The District boundaries may be amended, and new historic districts may be designated and delineated following the amendment procedure described in Article XIV, § 235-85 of the Laconia City Code.
(2) 
Criteria for designation. The following criteria should be considered when the Historic District Commission, Planning Board, and City Council deliberate the enlargement or reduction of an existing district or the creation of a new district. In any district which contains multiple properties or structures, not every property or structure need meet these criteria. Rather, the district overall should embody a significant degree of continuity, cohesiveness, integrity, and conformity with one or more of the following criteria.
(a) 
The site is identified with or significantly represents or exemplifies one or more significant cultural, social, political, economic, or military events in the history of the City of Laconia, region, state, or nation.
(b) 
The site is associated with a person or persons of historic significance.
(c) 
The site embodies distinguishing characteristics of, or quality in, design, detailing, materials, craftsmanship, or a particular architectural style.
(d) 
The site is identified as the work or representing the work of a master builder, designer, architect, engineer, or landscape architect whose individual work was influential in the development of the City, region, state, or nation.
(e) 
The site's unique location and characteristics make it an established and appreciated element or visual landmark for the community.
(f) 
The site's age, good condition, and special features make it worthy of preservation.
(g) 
The site has yielded or is likely to yield significant archaeological information.
(h) 
The site contributes to the visual continuity of the District.
D. 
Identification of the Historic Overlay District. A Zoning Map of the HOD as amended, including all the notations, references, district boundaries, and other information shown thereon, is incorporated by reference as part of this section and is on file with the City Clerk. If there are any inconsistencies between the map and the listing of map and lot numbers under Subsection D(2), the listing of map and lot numbers herein shall prevail.
(1) 
Locating boundaries. The district lines drawn on the HOD Map are generally on or parallel to a street, watercourse, or lot line, and shall, unless there are indications to the contrary, be deemed to be:
(a) 
On the center line of the right-of-way or watercourse;
(b) 
Parallel to the center line at the distance noted; or
(c) 
On the lot line, or parallel to the lot line, at the distance noted in Subsection D(1)(b).
(2) 
Delineation of the District. The HOD is defined as that area made up of the lots listed below, including those that are City-owned lots, as delineated on the Laconia City Tax Maps, excluding road rights-of-way. However, any buildings or portions of buildings or stone walls or portions of stone walls that are located in any road right-of-way within the boundaries of the HOD shall be subject to review by the HDC. Unless otherwise noted, all of the land composing each lot shall be considered to lie within the District. Should any of the lots listed below be subdivided or combined with other lots in the future, the new lots, or applicable portions of those new lots, that are located within the Overlay District as delineated herein, at the time that the District is established, shall be included in the HOD.
(a) 
Map 433, Block 225, Lot 83.
(b) 
Map 432, Block 142, Lot 1.
(c) 
Map 425, Block 44, Lot 1.
(d) 
Map 425, Block 44, Lot 1.1.
(e) 
Map 432. Block 225 Lot 2.
E. 
Purview of the Commission.
(1) 
Activity within the Historic Overlay District subject to review. Approval of the HDC is required for the following activities and structures within the HOD. Approval is not required for any activity or parts of the structure that are not visible from the street at any time of the year:
(a) 
Pertaining to structures within the Historic District: modifications to the exterior architectural appearance (See definition.) of the property, including erection of new structures (See definition for "Structure."), additions to existing structures, alterations to existing structures, demolition of existing structures or portions of existing structures. Also pertains to the relocation of any structure into, out of, or within the HOD.
[1] 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL APPEARANCE
The architectural character, general composition, and arrangement of the exterior of the structure, including the kind, color, and texture of the building materials and type and character of windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, and appurtenant elements.
STRUCTURE
Anything within the HOD that is built or constructed with a fixed location on the ground or attached to anything with a fixed location on the ground, including but not limited to buildings, fences, walls, signs, light fixtures, decks, porches and steps.
(b) 
Installation, modification, or removal of exterior freestanding lighting structures.
(c) 
Erection, alteration, or removal of a wall or fence.
(d) 
Installation of pavement or other impervious or semi-impervious material on the ground or establishment of any parking or driveway area within the area located forward of the front elevation of the building.
(e) 
Installation of any new roofing material where the material, form, or color will change significantly. However, where failure to repair a roof will result in immediate damage to the structure, the Code Enforcement Officer may grant approval for emergency temporary repairs and immediately notify the HDC, which will then review the work at its next opportunity (unless exempt under Subsection E(2), below).
(f) 
Signage, except for:
[1] 
Signage serving single-family residences.
[2] 
Temporary signs.
[3] 
Auxiliary signs, such as address numbers, small directional signs, and "open" signs.
[4] 
Signage placed on the inside of the building.
[5] 
Sandwich board and other portable signs.
(g) 
Building- and ground-mounted utilities and roof penetrations that would be visible from a public street within the Historic District at any time of the year, unless necessary for public safety. The Commission needs to recognize and reasonably allow equipment for new or future technology.
(2) 
Activity exempt from review. No review or certificate of approval shall be required for the following:
(a) 
Work performed on the interior of buildings, except for those buildings within the HOD that have been previously designated by the Historic Commission as significant for their interior architectural or artistic value.
(b) 
General maintenance and in-kind repair which does not involve any significant change in materials or the outward appearance of the structure or site.
(c) 
Installation or removal of any plant materials that does not alter the street facade.
(d) 
Any of the following items if they are situated on a building or on a lot such that no part of them will be visible from a public street within the Historic District at any time of the year: antenna, wall siding, a change in roofing material, outbuilding not exceeding 400 square feet, deck, swimming pool, fence, patio, wall, barbecue pit, satellite dish, solar panels, roof vents and other structures situated on or penetrating through the roof, septic tank, leach field, well, any other utilities, and other yard appurtenances. Temporary placement or use of any of these items that would be visible is permitted without the approval of the Historic Commission (use for less than 10 days).
(e) 
Construction, alteration, or demolition of any structure or element of a structure that the Code Enforcement Officer certifies as being the only means of avoiding an immediate health or safety emergency prior to the HDC convening a meeting to consider the matter. In such an instance, the Code Enforcement Officer shall immediately notify the Commission of his or her certification. The HDC will review such work at its first opportunity if it deems appropriate.
(f) 
Painting or staining a building when the color will not change.
(g) 
Colors of paint and stain applied to a residential or commercial structure that the HDC determines does not contribute significantly to the character of the District.
(h) 
Utility poles, flagpoles, mailboxes, or window air conditioning units in a single-family residence or accessory apartment.
(i) 
Installation of any new roofing material where the material, form, or color will not change significantly.
(j) 
Items which are not explicitly addressed in this subsection but for which the proposed work clearly:
[1] 
Would not have any significant adverse impact;
[2] 
Would not be noticeable from any public street; and
[3] 
Would be consistent with the intent of this article, all as reasonably determined by the Planning Department in consultation with the HDC Chair.
F. 
Procedures for review of a certificate of approval.
(1) 
Application. In order to be considered at the next scheduled HDC meeting, an application for a certificate of approval shall be submitted to the Laconia HDC through the Planning Department no fewer than 14 calendar days prior to that meeting. When the deadline would fall on a weekend or holiday, the application must be submitted by the next workday. In the case of a special meeting, the Chair may allow for a shorter timeframe for submission of materials. Applications must be emailed, postmarked, or hand delivered to City Hall by midnight on the day of the deadline.
(a) 
Application materials.
[1] 
The application package shall include the items listed below, when applicable, as determined by the HDC:
[a] 
Application form: a completed application form as provided by the Planning Department.
[b] 
Site plans: site plans when necessary to depict the proposed changes.
[c] 
Elevation drawings: elevation drawings to scale of each affected facade subject to review.
[d] 
Details: detail drawings of project-specific elements.
[e] 
Photographs: photographs of each side of any building proposed for alterations, additions or demolition, and one of the overall sites.
[f] 
Samples: if requested by the Commission, provide samples, swatches, colors, and/or manufacturer's cut sheet of materials to be used as appropriate.
[g] 
Other items: any other items which the Commission may reasonably need to conduct its review, including perspective drawings of the subject buildings; accurate, to-scale renderings of nearby buildings; and any type of rendering, view, or model which shows the proposed construction in context.
[2] 
The Commission may, at its discretion, waive requirements for the submission of any or all of the above items as well as for drawings to be precisely drawn to sale on smaller or less complex projects. There is no application fee for applications to the Historic District Commission.
(b) 
Other requirements.
[1] 
Measurements. Measurements on all plans, including building heights, shall be provided in a clear manner. When revised plans are submitted, the measurements shall be provided in a manner consistent with prior plans.
[2] 
Revisions. When subsequent revised plans are submitted, the revised plans shall clearly indicate every change from the prior set of plans.
[3] 
Elements subject to review. It is the responsibility of the applicant to point out or highlight, in some clear manner, every element of the proposed project that is subject to HDC review.
[4] 
Changes made by other boards. When any change in the design approved by the HDC, pertinent to any element subject to HDC review, is made by another body, such as the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment, the plans shall be brought back to the HDC for review and approval.
(2) 
Review of the application.
(a) 
Determination of appropriateness. In deliberating whether to grant or deny approval, the HDC shall make a determination as to the appropriateness of the work proposed by determining whether or not the proposal conforms to the provisions of this article.
(b) 
Submission of materials and time frame. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit all necessary items. As long as the application form itself is submitted by the deadline, the application will be included on the next agenda; however, the applicant is urged to submit all pertinent materials by the deadline (or shortly afterward in consultation with the staff) in order to ensure that HDC members have access to the materials well in advance of the meeting and to increase the chances that the HDC will be able to take final action at the meeting (if all is in order and the application meets the requirements of this section). It is understood that some items, such as samples and swatches, may be presented at the meeting.
(c) 
Pursuant to RSA 676:9, I, the HDC must take final action within 45 days of submission of the application form. In most cases this will allow for two meetings of the HDC. When additional meetings are needed, the HDC will request an extension on the timeframe. An applicant's refusal to grant an extension could be grounds for denial of the application due to an inability to fully review the proposal.
(d) 
Dialogue with applicant. The applicant may present his or her application at the Commission meeting(s). When there are aspects of the proposal which may not conform to this article, the Commission, at its discretion, may advise the applicant to find reasonable cost approaches to meet his or her objectives with a project which still conforms to the standards of this article, or may agree to certain compromises with the applicant even if the compromise does not conform to the standards of this article.
(e) 
Public hearing. The Commission is required to hold a public hearing on any application, at which time opinions of abutters and interested citizens shall be heard. Notice of the public hearing during an HDC meeting shall be sent to abutters and posted in accordance with established City policy, and advertised in a newspaper of general circulation at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing. In the case of significant projects that involve demolition, the HDC may hold an additional public hearing any time after the start of construction to allow for concerns to be identified and conveyed to the applicant and City enforcement officials. Applicants shall be invited and encouraged to attend any such public hearing meeting, but it is not required.
(f) 
Professional advice. The Commission may seek advice from such professional, educational, cultural, or other sources as is deemed necessary. In such cases, the fees for the consultant shall be paid by the City.
(g) 
Setting parameters. When the Commission deems appropriate in dealing with violations of this section and other matters, it shall work with property owners in a flexible manner in setting time frames and other benchmarks to guide how and when specific work must be completed, recognizing that violations must be adequately addressed by the property owner.
(3) 
Action on an application.
(a) 
To the extent practical and appropriate, as determined by City staff, an applicant may file applications for permits simultaneously to the Planning Board and the Commission. Reviews shall be coordinated by the City staff to ensure that all necessary approvals are obtained and are consistent with one another.
(b) 
The HDC shall act on all applications within 45 days of the meeting at which the Commission accepts the application as complete. This time frame may be extended by consent, at the request of the Historic Commission or request of the applicant, for an additional period not to exceed 45 days. In cases where the HDC requests additional information/documentation/materials and continues an application from one meeting to another, the application shall be deemed to have been not complete at that first meeting unless accepted as complete.
(c) 
The Commission's decisions shall be documented, and official notification of its actions will be provided to the applicant. Failure by the Commission to act within the period of time specified above shall be deemed to constitute approval of the application as submitted. Approval, or approval by default of the Commission to act, shall be effective for two years after the date of approval. If the applicant has neither obtained a building permit (or an extension for one) nor substantially commenced work within this time frame, then the approval shall automatically be deemed null and void.
(d) 
When an application is denied, the reason(s) for the decision shall be conveyed to the applicant and clearly stated in the minutes of the Commission.
(e) 
Once approval has been issued, any proposed changes to that approval shall be brought back to the HDC for review and approval. However, if a proposed change is very minor, then the Planning Department may approve the proposed change, in consultation with the HDC Chair, provided that:
[1] 
The change is deemed to be insignificant;
[2] 
The change would be barely noticeable, if at all, from any public street located within the HOD; and
[3] 
The change would be consistent with the intent of the earlier approval.
(4) 
Appeals. Any applicant, persons, or organizations aggrieved by a decision of the HDC may appeal the decision to the Laconia Zoning Board of Adjustment in accordance with RSA 674:33 and any appeal procedures specified in the City Ordinances.
(5) 
Enforcement. The provisions of this article shall be enforced as provided for in Chapter 235, Article XIII, of the Laconia City Code. No building permit shall be issued for any project until the Building Inspector determines that the proposed plan is in conformance with the design approved by the HDC. No certificate of occupancy (except for a temporary certificate of occupancy, as appropriate) shall be issued until the Building Inspector determines that the project has been built in accordance with the plans approved by the HDC. The Building Inspector shall determine in the course of regular inspections that all work is in compliance with the plans approved by the HDC. When appropriate, the Building Inspector may issue a stop-work order at his or her reasonable discretion.
G. 
Standards for review. The following standards shall be used by the HDC in reviewing applications for certificates of approval.
(1) 
General principles (as adapted from the Secretary of the Interior's Standards).
(a) 
Every reasonable effort shall be made to minimize alteration of the significant features of the property unless necessary for public safety.
(b) 
The distinguishing original qualities or character of the property shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features shall be avoided where possible.
(c) 
All structures and sites shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis or that are made to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged. [See Subsection B(2)(c)[1] for ability to hire/consult with experts for advice.]
(d) 
Changes that may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and development of the property. These changes may have acquired significance in their own right, and this significance shall be recognized and respected.
(e) 
Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be treated with sensitivity.
(f) 
Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced, wherever possible. The HDC may help the property owner find sources of money to pay for some or all the restoration. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities whenever possible. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplications of features, substantiated by historic, physical, or pictorial evidence, rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other structures if at all possible.
(g) 
Every reasonable effort should be made to protect and preserve archaeological resources affected by, or adjacent to, any project.
(h) 
Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties should not be discouraged when such designs do not destroy significant historical, architectural, or cultural material, and when those designs are compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood, and surrounding environment.
(i) 
Whenever possible, new additions or alterations to structures should be done in such a manner that if those additions or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would be unimpaired.
(2) 
Elements of design. Proposals should be harmonious with existing structures within the District. The Commission shall consider historical elements of design when evaluating an application, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Scale. The scale of a building is its size relative to common reference points: e.g., the human body and nearby structures. New construction should be consistent with the dominant cornice and peak or ridge height of other nearby structures within the HOD. Inordinately low buildings create a void at upper floor levels that interrupts the feeling of enclosure. Disproportionately tall buildings overpower other structures.
(b) 
Proportions. Proportion deals with height, width, depth, and spacing relationships and is important both in the overall dimensions of the building and in its individual components.
(c) 
Signs. Proposed new signs or replacement signs shall be consistent with the original architecture and be consistent with or complementary to the original time period.
(d) 
Materials. Change in exterior materials or in the look of exterior materials shall be approved by the Commission. Certain contemporary materials may be accepted where the Commission has determined that these materials effectively capture the salient aspects of the historic materials.
(3) 
New construction. New construction is an essential process in a vital community, representing the current phase of an evolution that has been ongoing since the settlement of Laconia. Contemporary architecture may be appropriate, provided that it is respectful of the historic fabric of the District. New construction within the Historic District should be consistent with Subsection G(1) and (2), above.
(4) 
Demolition or removal. No existing building or other structure subject to review may be demolished or moved out of the Historic Overlay District until approval has been granted by the HDC. Demolition or removal from the District of a significant structure is strongly discouraged and shall rarely be permitted. An application which includes a detailed plan for the reuse of the site shall be submitted, and the Commission shall determine the appropriateness of the plan. It shall only be approved if the applicant demonstrates that 1) denial of the application would result in extreme hardship unique to the subject property or the plan for redevelopment of the site is considered to be beneficial overall for the Historic District and the City as a whole; and 2) the Commission has approved a detailed redevelopment plan for the site. Financial hardship of the owner of the property shall not constitute a hardship for this purpose.
(5) 
Other issues.
(a) 
Parking. New parking areas can have a significantly negative impact upon historic areas. All new parking areas for other than single-family uses should be located at the rear of buildings. Where such placement is not practicable, parking may be located at the side of buildings, provided that no part of the parking area is located forward of the front elevation of the building.
(b) 
Screening. All utility elements, such as dumpsters, garbage cans, propane tanks, aboveground oil tanks, and ground-mounted air conditioning units, shall be screened and located such that they are not visible from a public way.
(c) 
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Historic Preservation shall also serve as a guide for the Commission.
H. 
Required maintenance and demolition by neglect.
(1) 
Responsibility. A property owner in the HOD is prohibited from allowing the property to deteriorate in the manner specified in Subsection H(2) and failing to correct those conditions.
(2) 
Conditions. Property owners shall maintain their property to prevent the following from occurring. The HDC may take any appropriate measures in coordination with the Zoning Enforcement Official or the Code Enforcement Director to effect conformance with this requirement. Where one or more of the following is occurring, such that the level of deterioration is significant and the integrity of the property is threatened, the HDC may make a finding that the property is subject to demolition by neglect.
(a) 
Deterioration of exterior walls, foundations, or other vertical support that causes leaning, splitting, listing, collapsing, or buckling.
(b) 
Deterioration of flooring or floor supports, roofs, or other horizontal members that causes leaning, sagging, splitting, listing, collapsing, or buckling.
(c) 
Deterioration of external chimneys that causes leaning, sagging, splitting, listing, collapsing, or buckling.
(d) 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior plasters or mortars.
(e) 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, and foundations, including broken windows or doors.
(f) 
Defective protection or lack of weather protection for exterior wall and roof coverings, including paint, or weathering due to lack of paint, peeling paint, or lack of other protective covering.
(g) 
Rotting, holes, and other forms of decay.
(h) 
Deterioration of exterior stairs, porches, handrails, window and door frames, cornices, wall facings, and architectural details that causes delamination, instability, loss of shape and form, collapsing, or crumbling.
(i) 
Heaving, subsidence, or cracking of sidewalks, steps, or pathways.
(j) 
Deterioration of fences, gates, and accessory structures.
(k) 
Deterioration, except by irreversible natural processes, of vegetation, trees, shrubs, plantings, and all landscaping.
(l) 
Deterioration that has a detrimental effect upon the special character of the Historic Overlay District as a whole.
(m) 
Deterioration of any exterior feature so as to create or permit the creation of any conditions hazardous or unhealthful to life, environment, or other property.
(n) 
Severely peeling or deteriorating exterior paint.
(o) 
Other conditions as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) or the Commission.
(3) 
Enforcement actions.
(a) 
Upon written notification by the HDC to the Code Enforcement Director regarding noncompliance with this section, the Director shall investigate, and if in noncompliance, send written notification to the owner of the property in question, informing the owner of the noncompliance and ordering that the condition be corrected within 60 days. If the owner chooses to contest the notification with respect to either the existence of the conditions or the number of days allowed for correction, the owner may appeal to and request a hearing before the HDC no later than 30 days following the mailing of the notification. At the hearing, the owner and the Director may present evidence, after which the HDC shall enter an order affirming, modifying, or rejecting the Director's notification.
(b) 
A building permit for all repairs shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Director after having received a complaint from the HDC. Building permit guidelines and regulations will be followed and monitored by the Code Enforcement Director. If a building owner fails to comply, the Code Enforcement Director shall notify in writing the City Manager and City Council of a breach of this regulation.
(4) 
Waivers and hardship cases. The HDC may grant a waiver of up to one year, from date of application, from part or all of this section in cases where strict compliance would create a financial hardship. Multiple waivers may be issued at the Commission's discretion.
I. 
Appeals. Appeals of any actions taken by, or orders issued by the HDC, may be taken to the Laconia Zoning Board of Adjustment by any owner or tenant of property wholly or partly within the HOD, as well as by any other person, agency or group, if aggrieved by a ruling of the Laconia HDC. The Laconia Zoning Board of Adjustment shall hear and act upon such appeals within the periods of time prescribed by New Hampshire statutes.
The Water Supply Protection Overlay District is created for the purpose of protection of the water supply for the City and its inhabitants. It shall be defined as that land area and portion of Paugas Bay described as: Beginning at a point being the most northerly point of land along the easterly shore of Paugus Bay (owned by James R. Irwin and Sons, Inc., known as "Irwin Marine boatyard," and being Tax-Street-Map No. 54-220-4), approximately where it abuts the southerly end of the Laconia Water Works property, thence running in a westerly direction toward a bound on the westerly side of Paugus Bay at a point where the State of New Hampshire railroad bridge meets the shore, thence running northerly along the shore to a point on the westerly side of Paugus Bay known as "Cass' Point," owned by James R. Irwin and Sons, Inc. (more specifically, where the four-by-eight sign installed by the Laconia Water Works reads "RESTRICTED AREA - WATER SUPPLY"), thence running in an easterly direction in an imaginary line across Paugus Bay to a point of land at Irwin's Boat Storage Facility, formerly known as "Tekwood" (at a point where Irwin's property abuts the Stanley Brox property), then running in a southerly direction along the shore of Paugus Bay to the point of beginning.
A. 
Restrictions shall apply to land uses and access to Paugus Bay for a depth of 50 feet from the reference line of Paugus Bay.
B. 
No sewage, industrial or other waste as defined by the State of New Hampshire shall be discharged into Paugus Bay.
C. 
No use or activity shall take place that results in the washing of boats, bathing of persons, swimming, the placement of bobhouses on the ice, waterskiing and other water sports nor shall any person have bodily contact with that portion of Paugus Bay within the district.
D. 
No commercial accessory dock, residential dock, boat launch, breakwater or other marine structure shall be constructed without the approval of the Laconia Water Commission and the State of New Hampshire.