Marina Abutters Request ZBA Rehearing

Freedom — February 22, 2007 — Abutters to the Ossipee Lake Marina have filed a request for a rehearing to the Freedom Planning Board.

The request was filed on Feb. 12. During a zoning board of adjustment meeting in January, members voted to approve a request for a special exception to store more boats outside at the marina. The request was submitted by Kevin Price and the Ossipee Realty Corporation.

Kathleen Keenan, represented by Fay Melendy, listed various reasons to reverse the board’s decision. She said in her request that because the marina is located in the general residential zone and the shorefront overlay that the marina is a non-conforming use and has been since 1987.

In 1997, the zoning board granted a special exception to the marina based on a specific number of boats stored on the property — 225 inside and 23 outside. Requests in the past for special exceptions have been denied various times by the zoning board, the courts, and the selectmen.

In 2002, the zoning board denied the marina’s request to become a special exception marina, also denying the marina’s request to store unlimited boats outside in a screened in area.

Melendy said one reason for that denial was that the character of the area would be adversely affected if boats could be stored in the screened in area. Because there have been no changes to the property, Keenan said there is no reason for the board to grant a special exception when it has not been granted in the past.

Also, Melendy said the exception should not have been granted because the marina was at one point storing too many boats outside. At one point, there were more than 100 boats stored outside at the marina.

Price said in the past that he misunderstood the definition of 23 boats to mean only customers’ boats. Other boats, such as ones he rents out or has on the property to be repaired he said he did not think counted toward the 23.

The selectmen recently defined the limit of 23 boats to be during the winter season, which starts on Dec. 15.

Melendy also said that a change from 23 boats outside to “unlimited” is substantially different and should therefore not be allowed.

Further, she said she did not think the zoning board fully considered the effect on the neighborhood and to the environment of the presence of “unlimited” boats stored outside at the marina, despite the number of negative comments from abutters, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services, the Freedom Conservation Commission, and the Green Mountain Conservation Group.

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