No vote on boat storage prompts Meredith zoning appeal from business ownerBy BEA LEWIS
Union Leader Correspondent
January 10. 2018 11:40PM
LACONIA — The town of Meredith has agreed to stay any enforcement action against the owner of the American Police Motorcycle Museum until a court battle involving the property is resolved.
Douglas Frederick filed an appeal in Belknap County Superior Court on Nov. 6 challenging the denial of both a special exception and a variance by the Meredith Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Frederick claims the town has practiced unequal treatment since he purchased in June 2010 the 7.29-acre property and circa 1850s barn-style building at 194 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3). It formerly housed Burlwood Antiques.
According to Frederick, his November 2015 zoning complaint to the Meredith town manager about the funeral home crematorium next to his property “led to a retaliatory and punitive response from the town with no investigation.”
Attorney Bernard Waugh, who represents the town, has denied the allegations. Waugh argues that Frederick failed to meet the deadline to appeal the ZBA’s no vote on his request for a special exception.
After negotiating a lease agreement with Meredith Bay Marina, Frederick had asked to use his Central Business District property for the parking and storage of multiple boats and boat trailers.
According to the town, Frederick began using the property for boat storage sometime in 2014 and continued to do so despite being notified by the town’s code enforcement officer and the chairman of the planning board that such a use violated the zoning ordinance.
After the town issued a cease-and-desist order, Frederick’s lawyer asked for an extension to comply and then appealed the administrative decision of the code enforcement officer — denied for being untimely.
In June, Frederick applied for a variance and was denied.
The town had ordered that all boats and trailers be removed from the property by Dec. 15. A hearing on the merits of the case is scheduled to be held in Belknap County Superior Court on Feb. 1.
The property is currently listed for sale by RE/MAX Bayside for $659,000. Frederick has said he plans to reopen his museum once he finds a suitable site.
On Dec. 12, Judge James D. O’Neill III approved the agreement between the parties that the town would refrain from enforcing its zoning regarding the use of Frederick’s property until the completion of the appeal regarding the variance’s denial.