Ossipee ZBA Dismisses Appeal of Westward Shores Expansion

Ossipee—November 8, 2016—The Ossipee Zoning Board of Adjustment has denied an appeal of the Ossipee Planning Board’s conditional approval of the controversial expansion of Westward Shores Campground & Marina. The appeal was filed by the Town of Freedom and supported by Effingham Conservation Commission, both of whom said the Ossipee Planning Board violated town zoning when it granted conditional approval for the campground to double its capacity, subject only to meeting state requirements.

After discussing whether the Planning Board misinterpreted the law or didn’t apply it, the ZBA voted to deny the appeal, saying State Superior Court was the proper body to rule on the abutting towns’ petition.

Freedom and Effinghawwsm have abutter status in the matter because the expansion was ruled to have regional impact. Both towns have expressed concerns that the expansion could harm water quality since the business is entirely on the floodplain and is adjacent to a “recharge area” for the aquifer.

The towns allege that Ossipee’s Planning Board failed to ensure that park trailers, travel trailers, and similar vehicles placed on the site for more than 180 days be required to meet the town’s Floodplain Development Ordinance requirement that they be elevated on a permanent foundation above the base flood level and be securely anchored to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement.

The base flood level of the property is 414 ft., which is four feet higher than the elevation of a majority of the property.

The appeal also stated that the Ossipee Planning Board erred when it approved a septic system plan to serve 15 year-round RVs planned for a part of the property known as the Peninsula. Two types of soil at the site are poorly drained soils that town zoning specifically prohibits for septic system use.

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