DES Rejects Request for Mediated Loon Island Discussions

Ossipee—June 19, 2024—DES has rejected a “Preliminary Notice of Appeal and Offer to Enter into Settlement Discussions” in regard to its May 13 approval of a docking structure on Leavitt Bay’s Loon Island.

Four conservation organizations, a children’s summer camp and more than 200 lake residents asked the state for mediated discussions about what they say are fundamental flaws in its approval of an 82.5-ft. wharf and five boat docks on the undeveloped 0.91-acre island.

The approval would create nine boat slips on the island, which is owned by Ossipee residents Kevin and Deborah Randall.

In a 48-page filing with the state, the appellants said that DES failed to address material errors and omissions in the application, and should have held a public meeting on the matter.

The appeal also said that the Randalls falsely stated that there were no protected species on the island despite the property being a documented loon nesting site. The state-approved dockage also exceeds state limits for dock structures in bodies of water smaller than 1,000 acres, per the appeal.

The appellants have 45 days to appeal to the State Wetlands Council, whose members represent diverse interests, including business and industry, recreation, and the environment.

State regulations authorize the Wetlands Council to either affirm a DES decision that has been appealed, or else remand the matter to the agency with a determination that the decision is unlawful or unreasonable.

The dock plan also requires the approval of the Governor and Executive Council.

The dock application was filed by the Randalls in February with copies to Ossipee officials. Within days, Ossipee’s Conservation Commission issued a letter opposing the plan, saying the island could not support the proposed usage.

Kevin Randall spoke at a subsequent Ossipee Planning Board hearing to say the docks would be for the convenience of friends and family, and were needed to keep trespassers off the property. He said he might want to rent the docks, but had no immediate plan to do so.

In addition to the 204 lake residents, the appellants included Camp Marist, Ossipee Lake Alliance, the Loon Preservation Committee, and Green Mountain Conservation Group. Two lake families filed separate appeals.

Editor’s Note: A previous article on the state’s approval of the docks incorrectly stated that the preliminary appeal was filed with the Wetlands Council rather than with the Wetlands Bureau.

8 Comments

  1. Beth 1 month ago June 20, 2024

    I don’t know. Looks like another witch hunt for you guys. I hope they get it because the property belongs to them. they should be able to do whatever they want without anyone saying.

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  2. Tim Otterbach 1 month ago June 20, 2024

    The exploiting and commercialization of Loon Island must not be allowed.
    First and foremost, there is confirmation that this area is a protected Loon Nesting site, and in keeping with state regulations, human activities must maintain the required distance.
    Second, the property owner is bound by the State Regulations to submit fully accurate and completed application, which they have not accomplished.
    Third, NH DES is required to uphold its own regulations, including those associated with ALL the various Bureaus and Divisions within the Department. This has not occurred.
    Fourth, The applicant has not effectively addressed the human sanitation issues which will arise with the concentration of people on and in the vicinity of the shoreline of the island. The water contamination will be excessive, and present a very realnthreat to the heath of both the boating community in the area, but also the families who enjoy their swimming activities along the adjacent shorelines.
    Fifth, the concentration of boat activity along the shoreline of Loon Island will create water contamination from the outboard motor use, specifically, exhaust discharge of oil onto the adjacent waters and shoreline. This will create contamination to all the wildlife which currently frequents the vicinity of, and on, Loon Island.
    There are very few areas on New Hamshires Lakes and Ponds which are extremely sensitive, and not actually protected, Loon Island is most definitely one of these sensitive areas.
    It is very disturbing to hear someone referring to concerns for areas which are environmentally sensitive, as a witch hunt!
    No one, not a single New Hampshire resident, is entitled to do whatever they want with their property.
    Throughout the States history, specific Federal, State and Local Land Use Regulations have been established to protect both the Health, Safety, and Welfare of all the people who access our natural settings, and the environments which support the indigenous Flora and fauna of these areas. Not one person, resident, or visitor from out of our area, has the right to flagrantly disregard these common sense regulations, and to believe they can, violates not only the regulations but defies our obligations to be the stewards in protecting these sensitive areas, not only for the current owners and users of these spaces, but for all future generations.

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  3. Meghan F 1 month ago June 20, 2024

    If you own a lake property (say 200 feet of shoreline, or 1 acre of land, or even 5 acres), you have private property … that abuts (in the case of Leavitt) about 800 acres of shared public property that needs to be managed as a public water source for drinking, washing, recreating, boating, wildlife etc. ESPECIALLY in lakes, aquifers, and other fragile areas you can’t just “do what you want.” The plans for Loon Island are building in additional SYSTEMIC risks to a location that does not currently have systemic risk. Leavitt Bay is already compromised and on the brink. If state agencies won’t act, and the local boards can’t or won’t, then this is a concoction for “lake-collapse.” Lakes are resilient, but without proper stewardship, visitors, homeowners, and wildlife all suffer because of this ludicrous idea that any given property owner “lives on an island” both figuratively and literally.

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  4. Paul W H Tung MD 1 month ago June 20, 2024

    They own the island but NOT THE LAKE. What they do to the island is their right, but not the lake or the waters around the lake. In addition, their plan will have a negative impact on the wildlife and other lake users.
    They should not be allowed to put in docks which by the way intrude into the lake!

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  5. Lgl 4 weeks ago June 20, 2024

    Is there anything that can be done at this point? This is such a flagrant disregard for our lake’s health. It seems like any mediations or further discussions are shut down immediately in this area. With so many organizations objecting to this plan for conservation, as well as sanitation and legal responsibilities for our town, it just sounds suspicious in my opinion. Can any lake owner now disregard impact to the health of the lake by expanding their dock or adding a boat house? I guess I do not understand how a structure can be approved without the setback regulations that we all have. What am I missing here?
    Were there no public hearings or just written objections? Public view of plans? Are we supposed to believe that all of this docking space is just for family and friends? This bay is too small for such a project.
    Does anyone know if there is any hope for review? How can citizens help?

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  6. Beth 4 weeks ago June 21, 2024

    It’s nobody’s business what they do. If you’d like to offer them a fair and reasonable offer go ahead other than that shut up.. Mind your own business.. Jealousy will get you nowhere. It’s private property leave these people alone. They pay their taxes…

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  7. Fred 4 weeks ago June 21, 2024

    Oh yes it is our business what happens to our lakes we live here and have the right to protect our property, lakes and environment!

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  8. tj236 4 weeks ago June 21, 2024

    If the island was/is such an environmentally sensitive Loon nesting site, why was there no effort to purchase by conservation, environmental or private group to prevent this type of “disaster”?
    Seems like this could have all been avoided …

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