The Zoning Department provides support for the Zoning Board. The Zoning Department provides zoning services for the City including:

  • Assistance to property owners with zoning questions
  • Technical and Administrative support to the Zoning Board
  • Administration of the Sign Ordinance including permitting
  • Enforcement of the Laconia Zoning Ordinance
Pursuant to the authority conferred by Title LXIV, Planning and Zoning, New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, the zoning regulations and districts as herein set forth are designed to regulate and restrict:

The height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures.
Lot sizes, the percentage of a lot that may be occupied, and the size of courts, yards and other open spaces.
The density of the population in the municipality.
The location and use of buildings, structures and land used for business, industrial, residential or other purposes.

Further, this chapter is designed to:

Lessen congestion in the streets.
Secure safety from fires, panic and other dangers.
Promote health and the general welfare.
Provide adequate light and air.
Prevent the overcrowding of land.
Avoid undue concentration of population.
Facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, solid waste facilities, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements.
Assure proper use of natural resources and other public requirements.

 Authority for this chapter includes the power to adopt innovative land use controls under RSA 674:16, II, Grant of Power, including but not limited to the specific methods of innovative land use controls contained in RSA 674:21, Innovative Land Use Controls. Within this chapter, innovative land use controls may be applied through the use of conditional use permits. Wherever a conditional use is authorized by this chapter, the authority to administer or grant conditional use permits shall be vested in the Planning Board. Wherever the provisions of this chapter come in conflict with any other ordinance or duly promulgated rules or regulations, the more strict shall prevail.

This chapter shall be effective throughout the city's planning jurisdiction. The city's planning jurisdiction comprises the area within the corporate boundaries of the city. In addition to other locations required by law, a copy of a map showing the boundaries of the city's planning jurisdiction shall be available for public inspection in the Department of Planning and Community Development.

It is the intention of the City Council that this chapter implement the planning policies adopted by the Council for the City as reflected in the Master Plan and other planning documents. While the City Council reaffirms its commitment that this chapter and any amendment to it be in conformity with adopted planning policies, the Council hereby expresses its intent that neither this chapter nor any amendments to it may be challenged on the basis of any alleged nonconformity with any planning document.

Zoning Board of Adjustment

 Pursuant to RSA 673, Establishment of Boards, a Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be established, consisting of five members and up to five alternate members, all appointed by the City Council for three-year terms. Alternate members may fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a regular member when a regular member is disqualified from consideration of a particular application.

Per the Laconia Zoning Ordinance, “No person may use, occupy or sell any land or buildings or authorize or permit the use, occupancy or sale of land or buildings under their control except in accordance with all of the applicable provisions of this chapter. For the purposes of this section, the use or occupancy of a building or land relates to anything and everything that is done to, on or in that building or land."

Upon appeal, the Zoning Board of Adjustment may authorize a variance from the terms of this chapter for a parcel of land, an existing building or a proposed building.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall also hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination by the Director of Planning and Community Development or his or her designee in the administration and enforcement of this chapter. The Board may affirm or reverse such order, requirement, decision or determination, in whole or in part, or may modify the same. [Amended 8-14-2000 by Ord. No. 07.2000.07]

The Board shall hear and render determination on any questions relative to the meaning and intent of any provision of the text of this chapter.

The Board shall hear and render determination on any question relative to the exact location of any district boundary shown on the Zoning Map.