University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property Addition Closer to Reality

Zoning Board Okays Variance for Parking

The Concord Zoning Board passed a parking variance Wednesday night that brings the building of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property at UNH School of Law one step closer to groundbreaking. At issue had been the 30 parking spaces lost in the proposed addition to the building at Two White Street and the arrangement of 31 on-street replacement parking spots proposed originally at the August Zoning Board meeting.

In the nearly two months since the initial meeting, a number of concerns have been raised by neighbors, both at the two Zoning Board meetings where the parking variance was tabled twice, and at a neighborhood meeting at the Law School September 15.

The final plan approved by the Board (see below) adds nine striped parking spaces on the school side of White Street between Washington and Blanchard Streets; makes Blanchard Street between White and Rowell one way towards the park and creates eight diagonal parking spaces on the Law School side; and adds 14 striped spaces on the school side of Washington Street between Rumford and White.

In addition UNH Law will research and implement a variety of methods to mitigate tight parking in the area.  Among the proposals are striping parking spaces on the residential side of Washington Street; instituting a Ride Share/Car Pool incentive program for students; increasing bike racks on campus; scheduling classes so utilization of campus facilities is consistent through the week; and requiring parking stickers for students, faculty, and staff to better monitor and report parking violations.

After much discussion by officials of the school, the Zoning Board, and neighbors, the variance was granted 3-2 with the condition that the Law School return to the Board one year after receiving its Certificate of Occupancy to review the efficacy of attempts to improve the parking situation.

The next step will be for UNH Law to take its plans for the 12,700 square foot addition to the Planning Board.

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