Ossipee — September 17, 2008 — Some folks can’t stop staring into the “medicinal” sapphire deep of Lake Ossipee — even if it means a telecommute. It’s so alluring, lakeside second-home owners from Massachusetts to Florida are pulling up John Rowe’s webcam video feed of Broad Bay on their home computers.
Stuck hundreds of miles away in primary residences, they long for the fleeting glimpses of their lake’s storied beauty only the Internet can provide, day or night.
Rowe, an owner of Canoe King on Route 16, sends the 365-day a year feed on “www.canoeking.com,” to the delight of part-time lake dwellers like John and Fran Conner.
“We love checking out the bay view from our winter home in Naples, Fla.,” wrote Rowe’s Osspiee Lake neighbors.
But two other neighbors don’t see it that way.
“It’s creating a nuisance for us,” Doug Brown told Ossipee selectmen last month, according to the Carroll County Independent. “We’ve consulted the town’s zoning book and believe it’s illegal to be there; we’re in a rural area.”
Brown complained the cam violates zoning rules because he claimed it promotes Rowe’s business. Brown’s wife, Donna, said the camera “points on to her beach property,” the Independent reported. But town zoning enforcement officer Dave Senecal said it’s “highly doubtful” the cam can be a considered profit-making commercial enterprise, calling it a civil matter in which the town is not involved.
The Browns could not be reached.
The Ossipee Lake Alliance, a politically-active group of lake-front homeowners, said it received 21 comments in 15 hours after it ran the story on its website. Most, if not all, loved the cam, and the mist-clouded backdrop of legendary Mount Chocorua.
“The view of Broad Bay has never been commercial in my view but medicinal,” wrote Steve Foley. “I find comfort in my computer’s background of the lake and all its natural wonder and with the click of a mouse being able to see it live from here in Plymouth Mass.”
Amy Clark wrote, “When living in the city gets to be a hassle, looking at the lake is a perfect antidote.”