With the crack of an auctioneer’s gavel, 28 years of gaming — and embarrassing — DES, state judges and the Office of the State Attorney General came to an end this month as big lake environmental violator Donald Lee forfeited his property. Unfortunately for the neighbors he hurt, the proceeds from the sale are hundreds of thousands of dollars short of the cost to clean up his mess.
The satirical barb comes on the heels of the Ossipee Zoning Board’s third decision to uphold the Planning Board’s approval of the controversial campground expansion, which will double capacity at the business. The case remains in court after Ossipee turns down an apparent offer to settle.
For the past three weeks, a pair of nesting loons on a central New Hampshire lake have been the stars of the Loon Preservation Committee’s webcam, which is being accessed by more than 7,000 people daily across 141 countries. The hatching is expected this weekend.
Consider this: If Westward Shores were undeveloped floodplain land and a new owner came to town with a plan to build a major business there, consisting of 519 sites for camping vehicles served by septic systems and ancillary buildings, would anyone think that was a reasonable idea and good for the lake? Even if a way could be found to make it legal? Sometimes a little common sense needs to temper legal issues.
State data shows Westward Shores Campground experienced floodwaters on at least 116 days between 2000 and the end of 2016, a much higher number of occurrences than previously reported. The revised number was computed from state data after pictures and videos last week showed extensive flooding while the lake level was approximately a foot lower than what was thought to be the flooding benchmark.