City of Laconia, NH
Belknap County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Laconia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Electrical standards — See Ch. 135.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 149.
Housing standards — See Ch. 155.
Plumbing — See Ch. 177.
[Adopted 12-29-1975 as Ch. 49 of the Public Ordinances of 1975]

§ 119-1 Applicability.

This article shall apply within the City limits of the City of Laconia.

§ 119-2 Permit required; contents; demolition review.

[Amended 11-26-1979 by Ord. No. 30-79.10; 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 53-81.7; 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 01.2005.01]
A. 
Permit requirement. Architecturally prepared plans, signed and sealed by a New Hampshire professional engineer or registered architect are required for the building types listed as follows:
(1) 
All one- or two-family attached and/or multifamily residences.
(2) 
Commercial projects creating or affecting a building or building area of 4,000 square feet or more.
(3) 
Buildings used for assembly purposes, such as, but not limited to, schools, churches, auditoriums, theaters, hospitals, and/or any building designed for use by the elderly.
B. 
In addition, building permits are required to be obtained for:
(1) 
Manufactured or mobile homes maintained on a site year round and having a minimum of 320 square feet or more of area must meet the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
One-story accessory structures, 150 square feet or more in area must meet the requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Further, an as-built survey may be required to be submitted prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy in all cases wherein a structure or a portion thereof may be encroaching in a required yard setback.
D. 
Demolition review.
[Added 3-24-2008 by Ord. No. 03.2008.03]
(1) 
Definitions. As used in this subsection, the following words or phrases shall have the meanings set forth below except when the context in which they are used requires a different meaning.
BUILDING
Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
DEMOLITION
The act of pulling down, destroying, removing, or razing a building or commencing the work of total or substantial destruction with the intent of completing the same.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on the ground or attached to something having a fixed location on the ground.
(2) 
Criteria. Any building or structure or part of a building or structure in the City of Laconia will fall under the terms of this article where:
(a) 
The proposed demolition is greater than 700 square feet of gross floor area or the proposed demolition involves a structure of any size that does not meet the definition of a building; and
(b) 
The building or structure was constructed/installed more than 75 years before the demolition permit application date; and
[Amended 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 08.2009.08]
(c) 
The building or structure is visible from the adjacent public right-of-way or public lands.
(3) 
Procedure. When an application for a demolition permit is submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer for a determination under this article, the Code Enforcement Officer shall determine if the structure or building meets the above criteria. The Code Enforcement Office may require the applicant to submit information necessary to make this determination. If it does, the Code Enforcement Officer shall:
[Amended 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 08.2009.08]
(a) 
Within five business days of the filing, confirm that the applicant is aware of the designation (as was identified on the demolition permit application), that the demolition must be reviewed by the Heritage Commission before proceeding, and the date, time and place of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Heritage Commission.
(b) 
Within five business days forward the application to each member of the Heritage Commission for review at their next regularly scheduled meeting.
(c) 
If the Heritage Commission determines the demolition permit involves a potentially significant building or structure (See subsection below.), the Code Enforcement Officer shall, within five business days of that decision, notify the applicant that a sign, paid for by the City, identifying the building as proposed for demolition and the date, time and place of the public hearing on the proposed demolition is ready for posting in a visible location on the building and that this sign must be posted within five business days of receiving notification from the Code Enforcement Officer. It is the responsibility of the applicant to post the sign. If the sign is not posted at least 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing, the process shall stop and the public hearing will not be rescheduled until at least 15 days after the sign is posted.
(4) 
Heritage Commission responsibilities.
[Amended 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 08.2009.08]
(a) 
It is the responsibility of the Heritage Commission to: notify the applicant that the application has been received and confirm the application will be on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting and, if possible, coordinate a site visit to gather further information necessary to make a final determination.
(b) 
If a determination is made that the building or structure is found to be not significant, the Chairman of the Heritage Commission shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer and the applicant in writing within two business days of such decision and that the demolition may proceed.
(c) 
If a determination is made that the building or structure is found to be significant the following timeline shall begin:
[1] 
A public hearing shall be scheduled by the Heritage Commission for the next regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The Heritage Commission shall also be responsible for submitting notification of the public hearing to the local newspaper, paid for by the City.
[2] 
The Code Enforcement Officer and applicant shall be notified in writing within two business days of such decision, to include the date, time and location of the public hearing.
[3] 
Hold the public hearing to hear all public testimony regarding the proposed demolition. The applicant or representative thereof shall be invited to attend the public hearing to present the proposal and to hear the concerns or alternatives that are proposed by members of the public.
[4] 
If an agreement cannot be reached during the public hearing, a meeting between the Heritage Commission and the applicant or representative thereof shall be scheduled within 10 business days of the public hearing to further discuss alternatives to demolition.
(5) 
Demolition.
(a) 
If no alternatives to demolition have been identified and agreed to by the applicant after the meeting provided for above, the applicant is free to proceed with demolition permit application process. If demolition is to proceed, and if the applicant is in agreement, the Heritage Commission shall photographically document the structure or building. The Committee shall also encourage the applicant to salvage significant architectural features.
(b) 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent immediate demolition where public safety is at stake and the building has been determined by the Code Enforcement Officer to be a public hazard and demolition is the only viable recourse.
(c) 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to supersede the demolition permit application process that exists at the Code Enforcement Office and which involves approvals from state departments and utility providers.
(6) 
Representation to Planning Board.
[Added 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 08.2009.08]
(a) 
If a building permit or site review plan involving demolition is submitted to the Planning Department, notification shall be made to the Code Enforcement Officer and the procedure and responsibilities above shall begin.
(b) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall represent the Heritage Commission on the Technical Review Committee and any agreement between the Heritage Commission and the applicant shall be made a part of the conditions for final approval of the permit by the Planning Board.

§ 119-3 Fees.

[Amended 11-26-1979 by Ord. No. 30-79.10; 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 53-81.7; 4-29-1986 by Ord. No. 121-86.6; 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 01.2005.01; 7-9-2007 by Ord. No. 05.2007.05]
There shall be a fee charged for the issuance of building permits, demolition, electrical and sign permits; for day care and foster home inspections; and for reinspections, which shall be paid to the Code Enforcement Officer before any permit is issued, and the fee charged shall be in conformity with the following schedule. Basements, storage areas, connecting structures and expansion areas associated with the application shall be included in calculating the aggregate floor area. In alterations and repairs, only the floor area to be altered or repaired shall be calculated.
Type
Fee
One- and two-family residential
New building:
Application fee (due upon submission of plans)
$100
Building permit fee
$0.15 per square foot
Additions, alterations, repairs:
Application review fee (due upon submission of plans)
$100
Building permit fee
$0.15 per square foot; minimum fee, $50
Commercial and multifamily
New building, addition, alteration or repair over 1,000 square feet:
Application fee (due upon submission of plans)
$300, plus $0.20 per square foot
New building or addition alteration or repair under 1,000 square feet:
Application review fee (due upon submission of plans)
$100
Building permit fee
$0.20 per square foot; minimum permit fee of $100
Residential garages, decks, pools, accessory structures:
Application fee
$50
All square footage
$0.15 per square foot
Sheds under 150 square feet
Exempt
Residential exterior replacement of siding, roofing, windows:
Application
Required
Permit fee
$0
(NOTE: No permit required for minimal routine maintenance repair.)
Demolition permit:
One- or two-family
$100
Accessory structure
$50
Primary commercial
$200
 
Accessory commercial
$100
Certificate of occupancy
Certificate of occupancy (due upon issuance of building permit) (NOTE: Certificate of occupancy: This document is issued for structures that are occupied for business and/or residential purposes and meet the requirements for occupied and/or habitable space under the building codes, such as one- and two-family residences, professional offices, personal service establishments, hotels/motels, multifamily residences, etc.):
Principal building
Residential
$50
Commercial
$100
Accessory building
Residential
$25
Commercial
$50
Temporary certificate of occupancy or compliance (expires six months from date of issuance) (NOTE: Temporary certificate of occupancy or compliance: These documents are issued in cases where site work may not be completed due to weather conditions, or minor finish materials have not been installed. All aspects of life safety must be met before consideration may be made for the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy or compliance, and only upon written request to the Code Enforcement Officer.):
One- or two-family
$25
 
Commercial/multifamily
$50
Electrical permits
One- and two-family residential:
Addition, alteration, repair
$75
New building
$125 per unit
Commercial and/or multifamily (based on estimated costs):
$0 to $2,000
$50
$2,001 to $4,000
$80
Over $4,000
$100, plus $0.50 per additional $1,000 estimated cost over $4,000
Health inspections
Day care, up to 12 children
$20
Child-care centers
$40
Foster home inspections
$20
Any reinspection other than health inspection
$50
(NOTE: Additional inspection fees are for reinspection. This also includes occupancy inspection.)

§ 119-4 § 119-4. Waiver of fees for certain projects. [1]

[Added 1-28-2002 by Ord. No. 01.2002.01]
It is the policy of the Laconia City Council that building permit fees under Chapter 119 of the City Code will normally be waived in cases where the construction is part of a project that has received funding from a community development block grant that was applied for by the City.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 119-4, Appeals, was repealed 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 06.97.06.

§ 119-5 Duration of permit.

[Amended 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 53-81.7; 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 01.2005.01]
A building permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance. Should an extension be required for the purposes of completing the work, an extension must be requested by the owner or his agent, in writing, stating the necessity of said extension, together with an extension administrative fee of $50 for a one- or two-family residential project or an extension administrative fee of $100 for any project associated with a commercial or multifamily residential project. No permit shall be extended beyond two years from the date of issuance.

§ 119-6 Display of permit.

The Code Enforcement Director shall issue a printed card when a permit has been issued, which must be conspicuously displayed on the premises for which the permit was granted, which shall state that a permit has been granted and generally state the nature of the work and that the person accepting the permit has agreed to conform to the terms of his permit application.

§ 119-7 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 01.2005.01; 7-9-2007 by Ord. No. 05.2007.05]
If construction requiring a building permit or demolition permit or electrical permit is commenced before the issuance of a building or electrical or demolition permit by the Code Enforcement Director, the building permit fee shall be doubled.

§ 119-8 Exception.

A building permit will not be required for normal repairs that do not exceed $1,000 of fair market value. This shall be exclusive of work which in itself needs a permit. Construction which normally requires a permit includes electrical, plumbing, new additions or change of occupancy.
[Adopted 12-29-1975 as Ch. 53 of the Public Ordinance of 1975]

§ 119-9 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CORPORATION COUNSEL
The City Solicitor.
MUNICIPALITY
The City of Laconia.

§ 119-10 Adoption of standards.

[Amended 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 54-81.8; 4-29-1986 by Ord. No. 122-86.7; 4-26-1988 by Ord. No. 150-88.4; 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 06.97.06; 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06; 3-9-2009 by Ord. No. 03.2009.03]
A. 
There is hereby adopted by the City of Laconia, the 2006 Editions of the International Building Code and International Residential Code for the purposes of establishing rules and regulations and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use and the demolition of such structures in the City of Laconia; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; repealing Ordinance No. 06.97.06, 4-14-1997, of the City of Laconia and all other ordinances and parts of the ordinances in conflict therewith.
(1) 
That a certain document, one copy of which is on file in the office of the Department of Code Enforcement in the City of Laconia, being marked and designated as the International Building Code, 2006 Edition, including Appendix Chapters C, E, G, I, as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Building Code of the City of Laconia, in the State of New Hampshire, for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use and the demolition of such structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Building Code on file in the office of the Department of Code Enforcement are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in Subsection B of this section.
(2) 
In addition, that a certain document, one copy of which is on file in the office of the Department of Code Enforcement of the City of Laconia, being marked and designated as the International Residential Code, 2006 Edition, including Appendix Chapters E, G, H, J, as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Residential Code of the City of Laconia, in the State of New Hampshire, for regulating and governing the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories in height with separate means of egress as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Residential Code on file in the office of the City of Laconia are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in Subsection B of this section.
(3) 
Further, that certain documents, one copy of each which is on file with the Department of Code Enforcement of the City of Laconia, being marked and designated as the International Energy Conservation Code, 2006 Edition, the International Property Maintenance Code, Edition 2006; and the State of New Hampshire, Best Management Practices to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution; January 2004 and Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control for Urban and Developing Areas in New Hampshire ("Green Book"), and lastly the 2005 Edition of the NFPA 70 (the National Electrical Code).
(4) 
The City of Laconia adopts the New Hampshire "State Building Code" which includes the International Mechanical Code and all of the above-listed ICC Codes.
[Added 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 04.2009.04]
B. 
The following sections are hereby revised:
International Building Code, Section 101.1 Insert: City of Laconia
International Building Code, Figure 1608.2 Delete: Figure 1608.2 Ground Snow Loads, Pg, for the United States, in its entirety.
Insert: Ground snow loads (Pg) within the City limits at a specific elevation [The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Laconia and Winnisquam Lake Quadrangle Mapping, or an approved equivalent source, shall be used to determine site elevations] shall be:
Site Elevation
Ground Snow Load (Pg)
USGS Elevation up to 750 feet
75 psf
USGS Elevation above 750 feet
80 psf
International Building Code, Section 1612.3. Insert: August 15, 1980
International Building Code, Section 1612.3. Insert: City of Laconia
International Building Code, Section 1805.2.1 Add: Frost Line Depth = four feet six inches (4'6")
International Building Code, Section 3410.2. Insert: Adoption date of the amendments.
International Residential Code, Section R101.1 Insert: City of Laconia
International Residential Code, Table R301.2 (1) Insert: Frost Line Depth = four feet, six inches (4'6")
International Residential Code, Table R301.2 (1) Insert: Seismic Design Category = C
International Residential Code Figure R301.2 (5) Delete: Figure R301.2 (5) Ground Snow Loads, Pg, for the United States, in its entirety.
Insert: Ground snow loads (Pg) within the City limits at a specific elevation [The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Laconia and Winnisquam Lake Quadrangle Mapping, or an approved equivalent source, shall be used to determine site elevations] shall be:
Site Elevation
Ground Snow Load (Pg)
USGS Elevation up to 750 feet
75 psf
USGS Elevation above 750 feet
80 psf

§ 119-11 Code Enforcement Director.

A. 
The office of Code Enforcement Official is hereby created, and the executive official in charge shall be known as the "Code Enforcement Director."
B. 
The Code Enforcement Director shall be appointed by the Manager. His appointment shall continue during good behavior and satisfactory service. He shall not be removed from office except by the Manager for cause and after full opportunity has been given him to be heard on specific charges.
C. 
During temporary absence or disability of the Code Enforcement Director, the appointing authority shall designate an acting Code Enforcement Director.

§ 119-12 Duties of the Code Enforcement Director.

It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Director to enforce all laws relating to the construction, alteration, removal and demolition of buildings and structures.

§ 119-13 Board of Appeal.

A. 
Application. The application for appeal shall be filed on a form obtained from the Department of Code Enforcement within 20 days after the notice from Code Enforcement Director, or his designee, was served.
[Amended 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 06.97.06; 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06]
B. 
Membership of Board. The Board of Appeals shall consist of five persons appointed by the City Council as follows: one registered design professional with architectural experience or a builder or superintendent of building construction with a minimum of 10 years' experience, five of which shall have been in responsible charge of work; one registered design professional with structural engineering experience; one registered design professional or master license holder with mechanical/plumbing experience; one registered design professional or master license holder with five years' electrical experience; one registered design professional or certified installer of firematic systems with five years' experience. The Code Enforcement Director, or designee, shall be an ex officio member of said Board, but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board. A minimum of three voting members shall be deemed a quorum.
[Amended 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06]
C. 
Terms. Each member shall serve a term of five years or until a successor has been appointed.
[Amended 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06]
D. 
The Board of Appeal shall elect its own Chairman from its own membership and shall adopt its own rules of procedure, consistent with due process of law and the provisions of this article and Article I of this chapter. The Board shall elect a Clerk who need not be a member of the Board.
E. 
The Board of Appeal shall annually, on April 1, report to the City Council on the matters that have come before it for decision during the immediately preceding year and at such time advise the City Council as to whether or not any need exists for revision of Article I of this chapter or related ordinances of the city, and, if such need exists, it shall recommend specific revision.

§ 119-14 Right of entry.

The Code Enforcement Director, in the discharge of his official duties and upon proper identification, shall have authority to enter any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 6, entitled "Fire limits established," which followed this section, was repealed 4-29-1986 by Ord. No. 122-86.7.

§ 119-15 Amendments to standards.

[Amended 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 54-81.8; 4-29-1986 by Ord. No. 122-86.7; 2-23-1987 by Ord. No. 134-87.1; 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 06.97.06; 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06; 3-9-2009 by Ord. No. 03.2009.03]
The International Building Code, 2006 Edition and the International Residential Code, 2006 Edition shall be amended as follows:
A. 
Section 113.2.1 shall be added to read as follows:
When the plans for the erection or alteration of a building, are prepared by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect, contemplate structural work or structural changes involving public safety or health and such plans are accompanied by an affidavit of the applicant that he has supervised the preparation of the architectural, structural and mechanical design plans and that he will supervise or check all working drawings and shop details for the construction, and that the structure will be built under his field supervision and in accordance with the approved plans, and that such plans and all materials to be used in the construction conform to all the provisions of this code and the legal rules adopted under its provisions, the Code Enforcement Director may waive examination of the plans and field inspection of the construction and may issue a permit for the performance of the work.
B. 
Section 906.5 shall be amended to read as follows:
Sprinkler alarms: Any building or structure requiring a sprinkler system will have said sprinkler system connected to the city's fire alarm system.
C. 
Section 903.1, entitled "Approval," shall be amended by the addition of the following sentence: "All automatic fire alarm systems required by this code will be approved and inspected by the Fire Chief or his authorized agent."
D. 
Sections 1607.3 and 1608.3 shall be amended to read as follows:
Minimum roof live loads: Minimum roof live loads are 55 pounds per square foot.
E. 
Delete Sections 121.1 and 121.2.1 and replace with § 119-13 of this chapter, Board of Appeals.
F. 
Amend Section 1014.6.8 as follows: "riser height, 81/4 inches"; tread depth, 9 inches."
G. 
Section 1608.0 of the 1996 BOCA Code is amended as follows:
(1) 
Figure 1608.3(1), Ground Snow Loads (PG) for the Eastern United States, is hereby deleted. The ground snow load within the limits of the City of Laconia shall be:
PG = 80 psf
(2) 
Table 1608.4, Snow Exposure Factor (Ce), is hereby modified to delete the value Ce = 0.6.

§ 119-16 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 8-31-1981 by Ord. No. 54-81.8; 11-22-2004 by Ord. No. 06.2004.06]
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation not to exceed a penalty of $500. Such person shall be deemed to be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of this article is committed, continued or permitted by such person and shall be punishable therefor as provided therein.