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Woodsy 05-03-2017 12:00 PM

WOW Trail Phase 3 Heating up...
 
Looks like a battle is looming for Phase 3 of the WOW trail... Seems like battling in court would be a waste of time and money for the Southdown folks as the rail property is state owned and Southdown was sold to the City with the premise of a Rail Trail. Doesn't sound like a win to me...

Perhaps they would be better served taking that war chest of $$ they raised to fight the trail, and use it to make the trail design acceptable as it runs through Southdown.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/newsx...32-wow-boycott

Woodsy

ITD 05-03-2017 12:54 PM

Actually boycotting businesses for a purpose like this can be quite effective and is done a lot. That said, these types of trails always have detractors but usually end up very well done and become great assets to communities and abutters. If you don't want to be near something like this then do your homework and don't move near right of ways.

Major 05-03-2017 02:40 PM

WOW Trail
 
I grew up in Laconia and now live in SD/LB. Even though I now live in SD/LB, I wouldn't want any more federal or state money be "invested" in the WOW trail. Let's be real, I drive by the WOW trail several times a day, and hardly ever see anyone on it. And if you read the police blotter, the WOW trail appears to be a popular place to buy drugs and to commit robberies. Couple that with the fact that it is inaccessible 5 or 6 months of the year make it a complete waste of money. Laconia should do what it has done best over the past decade, invest in Section 8 housing so we can attract the type of people it wants as residents. I heard/read somewhere that SD/LB generates $32M in tax revenue. What the heck, Laconia can just make us pay more.

BroadHopper 05-04-2017 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278045)
I grew up in Laconia and now live in SD/LB. Even though I now live in SD/LB, I wouldn't want any more federal or state money be "invested" in the WOW trail. Let's be real, I drive by the WOW trail several times a day, and hardly ever see anyone on it. And if you read the police blotter, the WOW trail appears to be a popular place to buy drugs and to commit robberies. Couple that with the fact that it is inaccessible 5 or 6 months of the year make it a complete waste of money. Laconia should do what it has done best over the past decade, invest in Section 8 housing so we can attract the type of people it wants as residents. I heard/read somewhere that SD/LB generates $32M in tax revenue. What the heck, Laconia can just make us pay more.

Section Eight housing is far worst than the WOW trail. Just take a look at the police blotter on 'The Project' on Blueberry Lane. 24/7! The weasels can walk through the woods and rob our homes on Wildwood shores. A couple of years ago residents complained of strong odors from the woods and it took police months to finally check it out! The found a big meth lab in the woods!
WOW trail is on the other side of the lake. Not sure where you got the idea that the WOW trail attract drugs.

belly_button_biter 05-04-2017 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITD (Post 278034)
Actually boycotting businesses for a purpose like this can be quite effective and is done a lot. That said, these types of trails always have detractors but usually end up very well done and become great assets to communities and abutters. If you don't want to be near something like this then do your homework and don't move near right of ways.

When a business sponsors the development of something the money comes from the people who do business with them.


I don't think they're very serious about boycotting the O Steak and Seafood. I see a lot of South Down Shores people in there when we dine there.

SAMIAM 05-04-2017 09:00 AM

Seems to me that those millions could be put to better use than a seasonal walking trail. Phase one of the trail seems to be used very little except during perfect weather.

DickR 05-04-2017 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278045)
... I heard/read somewhere that SD/LB generates $32M in tax revenue....

If the "M" is the standard abbreviation for "millia," Latin for thousand, then $32M would be barely anything. If the intent was to say $32 million, then I have to suspect what was "heard." Talking round numbers, if each property paid ten thousand per year in property tax, there would have to be 3200 properties so taxed for SD/LB to generate that much collectively. Whatever the total take is, how does the total tax take from SD/LB figure into the argument for or against the proposal?

Major 05-04-2017 10:06 AM

WOW Trail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BroadHopper (Post 278089)
Section Eight housing is far worst than the WOW trail. Just take a look at the police blotter on 'The Project' on Blueberry Lane. 24/7! The weasels can walk through the woods and rob our homes on Wildwood shores. A couple of years ago residents complained of strong odors from the woods and it took police months to finally check it out! The found a big meth lab in the woods!
WOW trail is on the other side of the lake. Not sure where you got the idea that the WOW trail attract drugs.

Two seconds of research yielded this --

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england...377055721.html

Major 05-04-2017 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DickR (Post 278102)
If the "M" is the standard abbreviation for "millia," Latin for thousand, then $32M would be barely anything. If the intent was to say $32 million, then I have to suspect what was "heard." Talking round numbers, if each property paid ten thousand per year in property tax, there would have to be 3200 properties so taxed for SD/LB to generate that much collectively. Whatever the total take is, how does the total tax take from SD/LB figure into the argument for or against the proposal?

It is common practice to use "M" for million. Notwithstanding, you are correct, I was off by a factor of ten. See below, which is taken from an article about John Davidson --

Both communities now have over 600 property owners from many geographic areas who can call the Lakes Region “home”. Many are vacation home owners & semi-retirees and others are year round, permanent residents. Davidson’s ‘vision’ and hard work paid off immensely for the City of Laconia. Today both communities are valued over $114,000,000 by the assessor’s office and they contribute over $3.2 million annually to the City of Laconia’s tax revenue. That’s a lot of income which has helped the city construct a new police station, fire department, schools, parks and other amenities. Not only that but think of the economic impact these 600+ families have contributed to the Lakes Region. Many businesses have prospered because of these communities including general contractors, landscapers, lumber yards, furniture stores, boat, car & golf cart dealers, restaurants and even us REALTORS®…

Still, $3.2 million is nothing to sneeze at.

Major 05-04-2017 10:16 AM

The point is . . .
 
My point is that the City has a spending problem, and looks to SD/LB as an important source of revenue to fund their "investments." In eight short years, my taxes have gone from $8K to $12.7K annually. Even with the tax cap, the City has a way of sticking it to the SD/LB residents.

Woodsy 05-04-2017 12:09 PM

Major...

I do agree with Laconia needing to look at Municipal Spending.... In 2009 the tax rate was $16.97 per thousand/assessed value. In 2017 the rate is $22.20 per thousand/assessed value. The tax rate has gone up $5.23 over 8 years or approx. .65/per thousand/per year.

However... SD/LB doesn't pay any more than any other property in Laconia when it comes to funding the city's projects! I pay the same $22.20 per thousand you do!

Woodsy

Biggd 05-04-2017 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278107)
My point is that the City has a spending problem, and looks to SD/LB as an important source of revenue to fund their "investments." In eight short years, my taxes have gone from $8K to $12.7K annually. Even with the tax cap, the City has a way of sticking it to the SD/LB residents.

When I was looking for property I stayed away from Laconia for that reason. I bought in Meredith and my taxes are reasonable.

Major 05-04-2017 12:46 PM

Taxes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsy (Post 278118)
Major...

I do agree with Laconia needing to look at Municipal Spending.... In 2009 the tax rate was $16.97 per thousand/assessed value. In 2017 the rate is $22.20 per thousand/assessed value. The tax rate has gone up $5.23 over 8 years or approx. .65/per thousand/per year.

However... SD/LB doesn't pay any more than any other property in Laconia when it comes to funding the city's projects! I pay the same $22.20 per thousand you do!

Woodsy

How do you explain our tax increase of 59% in eight years when Laconia's tax rate went up 31%? I'll tell you why, they assess properties at SD/LB at a higher rate. The planning board and city counsel view SD/LB as a cash cow, and don't face any ramifications since most of its residents are not Laconia residents.

Woodsy 05-04-2017 01:49 PM

No..... they do not assess SD/LB at a higher rate! Your property increased in value... The increase in value of the property, coupled with the increase in the tax rate gives you your 59%...

Go on the MLS and look.... the cheapest property for sale in SD/LB is a 1200 sq/ft condo for $235K. Not counting lots for sale.. I counted 12 properties that when averaged out (including the $235K property) equaled an average price of $436K... There are only 2 properties listed under $300K!

So while I am happy for you that you got in a good price... I don't feel bad for you or anyone else when your property increases in value!

Woodsy

Major 05-04-2017 02:58 PM

Taxes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsy (Post 278123)
No..... they do not assess SD/LB at a higher rate! Your property increased in value... The increase in value of the property, coupled with the increase in the tax rate gives you your 59%...

Go on the MLS and look.... the cheapest property for sale in SD/LB is a 1200 sq/ft condo for $235K. Not counting lots for sale.. I counted 12 properties that when averaged out (including the $235K property) equaled an average price of $436K... There are only 2 properties listed under $300K!

So while I am happy for you that you got in a good price... I don't feel bad for you or anyone else when your property increases in value!

Woodsy

Respectfully disagree. Built the house in 2008, so there wasn't any past history to draw from. The first year of full assessment, 2009, our taxes were $8,000. Given the real estate market at that time, our assessments and taxes should have gone down. Instead, they systematically went up.

I grew up here, and I have friends and family who own homes throughout Laconia. Our home and my neighbors' homes in SD/LB are assessed close to what we might be able to sell them for. I follow Vision Appraisal, and from what I can tell, family and friends outside of SD/LB are assessed 70-75% of sale values. I can provide you many examples.

I get your point, but I think they have their thumb on the scale with respect to SD/LB. Just my opinion.

Woodsy 05-04-2017 03:40 PM

Major...

The math is pretty simple....

In 2009 Laconia's tax rate was $16.97 per thousand assessed. So If you paid $8000 in taxes in 2009 your house was valued at approx. $471,500.
$8000/$16.97 = $471,420

In 2017 Laconia's tax rate is $22.20 per thousand assessed. So if your house value didn't change...
471.42 x 22.20 = $10,465.52 tax bill (31% increase)

So if your taxes have gone up 59% ($8000 x .59 = $4720) they jumped from $8000 to $12,720. So the difference lies in your appraised value.
$12,720/22.20 = $572,972 tax assessed value.... 21.5% increase in home value over the 8 years.

If you think you are being unfairly assessed, you should definitely appeal to the town... (I certainly would) My guess is with median average for sale in Southdown being $436K, you probably aren't going to win. Southdown/Long Bay is a victim of its own success.

PS... My condo in the Weirs is assessed at 90% value. Per the state laws.

Woodsy

BroadHopper 05-04-2017 08:55 PM

As I always say to folks....
 
that moves to Laconia and complain, there are plenty of estate to move elsewhere!

Laconia was here long before SD/LB. So don't go telling Laconia what they can or can not do!

Major 05-05-2017 07:36 AM

Sd/lb
 
Last time I checked, I am a resident of Laconia and have the same right as other residents to express my displeasure about City money going towards the WOW trail. Make no mistake, even if Federal and State (and private) monies are provided to construct the trail, Laconia will be obligated to pay for its maintenance.

My hope is that the WOW trail proponents take SD/LB's offer to re-route the WOW trail around the periphery of the development. Otherwise, it appears that the WOW trail will be wasting a lot of its capital in fighting the issue in court.

Woodsy 05-05-2017 08:21 AM

Why should they re-route the trail around a development that was sold to the city with the rail trail as part of the plan?

The state owns the right of way.... Not SD/LB.

Why not work with the WOW trail to pick out a nice fencing option?

Woodsy

Major 05-05-2017 09:01 AM

The incentive for the proponents of the WOW trail to work with SD/LB is to avoid costly litigation. Who is right or wrong really has little impact on how disputes are resolved. (Things like monetary resources, stomach for litigation, etc., have as much influence on litigation results.) The proponents on the WOW trail can spend a lot of their capital on litigation to prove that it has the right of way, or instead work with the residents of SD/LB to re-route the trail. We'll see what happens. At the end of the day, whether the trail is built or not won't have a lot impact on my life. I just think it's a colossal waste of money.

jeffk 05-05-2017 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278156)
The incentive for the proponents of the WOW trail to work with SD/LB is to avoid costly litigation. Who is right or wrong really has little impact on how disputes are resolved. (Things like monetary resources, stomach for litigation, etc., have as much influence on litigation results.) The proponents on the WOW trail can spend a lot of their capital on litigation to prove that it has the right of way, or instead work with the residents of SD/LB to re-route the trail. We'll see what happens. At the end of the day, whether the trail is built or not won't have a lot impact on my life. I just think it's a colossal waste of money.

Sounds to me that you are saying that "Might makes right". Even if the WOW trail advocates are correct in that they have the proper clearance rights to build the trail, you are hoping to hit them with enough legal entanglements (costs) to stop them. Sounds like trail opponents are willing to expend a "colossal waste of money" to get their way, even if they are not in the right.

thinkxingu 05-05-2017 09:22 AM

This is where the law gets frustrating to me. If the SD properties were sold with a ROW--and ESPECIALLY if with the rail trail plans included--there shouldn't even be legal proceedings. If, on the other hand, the ROW was not disclosed, that's an issue.

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Major 05-05-2017 09:38 AM

Jeff, unfortunately, that's how litigation works. It may be a colossal waste of money for the SD/LB owners, but spread across 600 units, the cost isn't that much. If the goal is to have a trail that people can enjoy, why can't the WOW trail folks consider re-routing the trail? It seems like a win-win.

Thinking, I'm not sure when the rail trail was first proposed. The first units in SD/LB were built around 1985.

Anyway, I don't see much upside in debating the issue. I think we will all have to wait and see how it plays out. Either way, it won't be the end of the world if it's built or if it's not built. That said, I don't see either side giving in.

jeffk 05-05-2017 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkxingu (Post 278162)
This is where the law gets frustrating to me. If the SD properties were sold with a ROW--and ESPECIALLY if with the rail trail plans included--there shouldn't even be legal proceedings. If, on the other hand, the ROW was not disclosed, that's an issue.

While I agree that it's an issue, it would seem to me that the issue the SD folks have could be with the people who sold them the property. However, it appears that the ROW is on State Owned land, not on the actual property purchased? This is a classic problem. You buy a property looking forward to a quiet neighborhood and then you find out the abutting property is zoned commercial and they are about to build a new Rite Aid store. Bye bye quiet neighborhood. The reality is, buyer beware. It's up to you to dig into the area you are moving into. Maybe there is a toxic waste site a block away? The seller isn't required to tell you about problems in the surrounding area?

The typical action to getting caught out with unexpected problems is legal action. You may not have a leg to stand on but it doesn't mean you can't create a legal blizzard, especially if you band together with others who share your interest.

And, I can truly share the SD folks concern. I owned a property along the Merrimack in Hudson, NH. The deed provided a ROW for a walking path if the town ever got around to building it. I accepted the reality of it and decided if they did build it, I would push for a barrier (bushes?) to be constructed as well to provide a bit of separation from my property. It never came to pass but the possibility was there.

Woodsy 05-05-2017 09:55 AM

The original plans for SD way back in the 80's had the rail trail in the plans.... Now its coming to fruition and SD/LB is taking a NIMBY approach... Not too cool in my book but whatever, like Major said bury them with lawyers!

That being said.... it go really bad for SD/LB.

1st... any lawsuit could be rejected by a judge because of the state owned ROW and it was included in original plans... SD/LB ends up spending a bunch of money for nothing and may have to pay the WOW lawyers.

2nd.... Nuclear option... State plays hardball and doesn't renew lease to cross Railroad ROW... yup SD/LB lease that land. SD/LB loses water access, and loses a bunch of property value and $$$ spent. (The state is under no legal obligation to renew any lease for any reason)

IMHO, SD/LB should take the money they are going to use to fight the WOW trail and instead use it to make the WOW trail more acceptable to them (fence design, trail materials, shrubbery, landscaping etc)

Woodsy

Greene's Basin Girl 05-05-2017 03:21 PM

I live on a 4 acre wooded lot. I love it because it is so private. Our neighbor's are having 40 trees cut down on their lot. They can cut right up to our property line. So much for privacy!!! People move to the country from the suburbs and they still want the suburbs.

jeffk 05-05-2017 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greene's Basin Girl (Post 278190)
I live on a 4 acre wooded lot. I love it because it is so private. Our neighbor's are having 40 trees cut down on their lot. They can cut right up to our property line. So much for privacy!!! People move to the country from the suburbs and they still want the suburbs.

Neighborhoods would really be great if it weren't for the neighbors! :D

Outdoorsman 05-05-2017 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278156)
The incentive for the proponents of the WOW trail to work with SD/LB is to avoid costly litigation. Who is right or wrong really has little impact on how disputes are resolved. (Things like monetary resources, stomach for litigation, etc., have as much influence on litigation results.) The proponents on the WOW trail can spend a lot of their capital on litigation to prove that it has the right of way, or instead work with the residents of SD/LB to re-route the trail.

Quote:

(unfortunately), that's how litigation works. It may be a colossal waste of money for the SD/LB owners, but spread across 600 units, the cost isn't that much. If the goal is to have a trail that people can enjoy, why can't the WOW trail folks consider re-routing the trail? It seems like a win-win.
What a disgusting group of "residents" at SD/LB.

If privacy was an issue, why on earth would you build/buy in a community such as SD/LB? It's not like they are building a highway around your home. It is a bike path/walking trail.

Instead of wasting money on litigation, BUILD A WALL. 30 feet high made of concrete should suffice!

Just Sold 05-05-2017 07:10 PM

A review of the plan (Plan Book 141 Page 19) shows that SD does not own the land that the RR tracks are on and that it is owned by the State. The State has owned that land longer than SD has been in existence or even a dream. The SD plan would not show a proposed rail trail as it is not part of or on their property. Good luck fighting this - I think you will be donating your money to a very smart and savy attorney who will gladly take it off your hands, as much as you wish to waste.

Descant 05-05-2017 09:24 PM

In a few years, you'll want to sell your property and the Realtor listing will brag that you are adjacent to the WOW trail.

As a separate issue if you think SD is over assessed, hire a professional to dispute the assessments. Businesses do this all the time, especially when there is no locally comparable business. There are professionals who do this on a commission basis.
You could also look at other tax rates around the state and realize that $22-23 may not be out of line for comparable cities/towns.

ricob 05-07-2017 01:07 PM

Two points.

Phase 1 was paid for (100%?) by ARRA funding. Phase 2 had a substantial amount of TIF money ($400K+) dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Laconia, so that money did not come from the tax revenues as a whole, but from a special assessment paid by downtown properties. A significant amount of the funding for the WOW trail has come from private donations. Certainly the City has agreed to maintain the trail as a linear park. I'm not sure when Major has viewed the trail, but it is used considerably, by all kinds of people.

Second point. I have recently been on the Shining Sea Trail on Cape Cod. It abuts many residential properties. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that many or most of those abutters complained that the trail was going to destroy their privacy and lead to an increase in loitering and property crime. That didn't happen, in fact, just about every single property abutting the trail has it's own pathway that the owner has cut to access it.

My prediction is that SD/LB will be have a similar experience. They will use the trail for exercise and for access to downtown Laconia and the Weirs on a dedicated pedestrian-bicycle path without having to jump into their cars, like virtually every trail of this type that has been built.

brk-lnt 05-07-2017 05:39 PM

We owned in SDS for 10 years, most other owners I spoke with about the WOW trail over the years were not opposed to the trail itself so much as the stupid/ugly chainlink fence that comes with it.

A good number of South Down properties are rentals, and it is not really like there is strict security to get in the front gate, thus most owners there are not under the impression it is some private gilded oasis that is built to keep the general public away.

I think much of the concern is that the trail won't be maintained and will end up as more of an eyesore than something that is fully utilized.

joey2665 05-07-2017 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brk-lnt (Post 278275)
We owned in SDS for 10 years, most other owners I spoke with about the WOW trail over the years were not opposed to the trail itself so much as the stupid/ugly chainlink fence that comes with it.



A good number of South Down properties are rentals, and it is not really like there is strict security to get in the front gate, thus most owners there are not under the impression it is some private gilded oasis that is built to keep the general public away.



I think much of the concern is that the trail won't be maintained and will end up as more of an eyesore than something that is fully utilized.



I agree. I also owned in SD/LB for 10 years. Moving to Meredith Bay. many residents really have 3 concerns 1) security/ including use of the facility by non owners 2) property values 3) the fence


My feelings are over time the values will actually increase after an initial downturn, as long as the fence is esthetically pleasing with easy access to get to the on water amenities in the community and lastly especially in season the continue to monitor the beaches and pool as they are done now the WOW Trail will end up being a tremendous asset and selling point for the community.



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BroadHopper 05-08-2017 07:16 AM

Fencing
 
Phase I does have a chain linked fence and the reason for that was federal safety rules and regulations as the track is considered active. Phase II has a combination pleasing metal picket fence and wood railing. This is due to changes in regulation result of feedback. I urge you to take a walk on Phase II and enjoy the new fences. Phase II connect to the Belmont Trail that brings you near Mosquito Bridge. I wonderful walk.

Belmont plans will eventually connect to the Tilton trail. From there the possibility of biking/hiking to Concord or Hanover is planned.

There is preliminary planning in Meredith about building a rail trail from downtown Meredith down to the Weirs. This is really exciting!

topwater 05-08-2017 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278045)
I grew up in Laconia and now live in SD/LB. Even though I now live in SD/LB, I wouldn't want any more federal or state money be "invested" in the WOW trail. Let's be real, I drive by the WOW trail several times a day, and hardly ever see anyone on it. And if you read the police blotter, the WOW trail appears to be a popular place to buy drugs and to commit robberies. Couple that with the fact that it is inaccessible 5 or 6 months of the year make it a complete waste of money. Laconia should do what it has done best over the past decade, invest in Section 8 housing so we can attract the type of people it wants as residents. I heard/read somewhere that SD/LB generates $32M in tax revenue. What the heck, Laconia can just make us pay more.

Major, Do you know how many crimes have been reported from the walking trail to the ANY police department? I am not knocking your remark about crime because to an extent I believe it's true. Was just wondering if you or anyone else had any stats backing that up.

SAMIAM 05-08-2017 09:37 AM

Another thing to consider is the effect on wild life that can no longer reach the water. Even though there is much development on that shore, there is also a lot of woodland. The area around Pickerel Cove is mostly a large wooded area.

Major 05-08-2017 10:43 AM

WOW Trail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by topwater (Post 278297)
Major, Do you know how many crimes have been reported from the walking trail to the ANY police department? I am not knocking your remark about crime because to an extent I believe it's true. Was just wondering if you or anyone else had any stats backing that up.

More anecdotal. I read the police blog, and there have been several instances of individuals being arrested for drugs on the trail since its creation. (I referenced one assault in an earlier email.) It is pretty well known that a lot of drug activity occurs on the section between Messer Street and the library.

Anyway, from the comments, it appears that SD/LB is not winning the vote of popular opinion. I'm against it not necessarily because of my affiliation with SD/LB, but because I think it's a waste of money. Even if funding is available from federal, state and private sources to build phase III, the City will ultimately have to maintain it. I think our money could be better spent on other things.

topwater 05-08-2017 11:23 AM

I don't have a Dog in the fight, however I DO agree it is/was/and will be a total waste of money. Just another feel good moment. No facts here just a common sense approach..... Dollars spent on the WOW trail ( from where ever ) vs The amount of people who use it. Just Financially doesn't make sense. Could have built a glass bridge over Paugus Bay and really had a view.

AC2717 05-08-2017 03:27 PM

I Do not have a dog in the fight either, but I have proposed many times putting it on union ave with the businesses to generate foot traffic and use the already way to wide sidewalks then up lake street and down weirs blvd up the road to the weirs, most of this area having plenty of room for the space of a trial, it will generate much more use and be better for the town and all those involved, not to mention it will go right by the visitor center as well.

side note that will bring it right by my doorstep

Major 05-08-2017 03:28 PM

This just in . . .
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by topwater (Post 278297)
Major, Do you know how many crimes have been reported from the walking trail to the ANY police department? I am not knocking your remark about crime because to an extent I believe it's true. Was just wondering if you or anyone else had any stats backing that up.

from May 2011 to April 2016, the Laconia Police Department received 132 incident calls concerning the WOW trail. Most incidents involve vandalism, intoxicated people, suspicious persons, hypodermic needles and assaults. Last year, one incident involved a tent city on the phase I section of the WOW trail, with some of the residents actually providing the WOW trail as their home address.

I encourage anyone concerned about their safety on the WOW trail to contact the Laconia Police Department. I hope this helps.

Major 05-08-2017 03:47 PM

Environmental Concerns
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SAMIAM (Post 278299)
Another thing to consider is the effect on wild life that can no longer reach the water. Even though there is much development on that shore, there is also a lot of woodland. The area around Pickerel Cove is mostly a large wooded area.

Two environmental concerns to consider --

1. The railroad ties are treated with creosote. The City of Laconia recently had to do a cleanup near a ball field due to creosote, and it was considered a hazardous site. The creosote leaches into the soil, so any construction will likely release the creosote into the lake.

2. There is a regulation that there can’t be any construction, grading changes or landscape changes within 150’ of the lake. Everyone is held to this restriction, including the proposed WOW Trail.

Outdoorsman 05-08-2017 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278327)
Two environmental concerns to consider --

1. The railroad ties are treated with creosote. The City of Laconia recently had to do a cleanup near a ball field due to creosote, and it was considered a hazardous site. The creosote leaches into the soil, so any construction will likely release the creosote into the lake.

2. There is a regulation that there can’t be any construction, grading changes or landscape changes within 150’ of the lake. Everyone is held to this restriction, including the proposed WOW Trail.

The simple answer is to plow over the property on "the other side of the tracks".... that is, the side away from the lake (towards SD) ....100% legal and the State of NH owns the property (Read NOT SD)!

If the State/City does now own the ROW then they should take it by Eminent Domain! It seems that would be cheaper than allowing the .5%ers to dictate what the state should do with property that WE already own.

jeffk 05-08-2017 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278327)
Two environmental concerns to consider --

...

2. There is a regulation that there can’t be any construction, grading changes or landscape changes within 150’ of the lake. Everyone is held to this restriction, including the proposed WOW Trail.

Are you referring to the Shoreland Protection Act (SPA)? If so, as I understand it, changes CAN be made but you have to apply for a permit and follow guidelines. I would think that adding bushes and vegetation WOULD be allowed if done right. The problem is usually with removing growth. You can also add fencing if put in with hand tools? Power tools require permits but again, you probably just need to follow proper procedures. You could probably put down a trail surface if it allowed drainage through the material. I'm not claiming to be an expert but it's not as restrictive as some might think unless you are only 50 ft from the water.

If it's not the SPA, what regulation are you referring to?

Major 05-08-2017 05:47 PM

Sd/lb
 
Outdoorsman, your solution doesn't solve the creosote issue or the 150' rule. Also, you think too highly of the residents at SD/LB. The 0.5%ers are at Grouse Point! Have you ever been in SD/LB? It's nice but let's not get carried away!

I was reminded today that although SD/LB gets a lot of press, we are not the only community against the WOW trail. Paugus Park, Breakwater, Nature’s View, Meredith Bay, and Grouse Point are all against the WOW trail.

Let's see what happens. Hopefully clearer heads will prevail.

Major 05-08-2017 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffk (Post 278336)
Are you referring to the Shoreland Protection Act (SPA)? If so, as I understand it, changes CAN be made but you have to apply for a permit and follow guidelines. I would think that adding bushes and vegetation WOULD be allowed if done right. The problem is usually with removing growth. You can also add fencing if put in with hand tools? Power tools require permits but again, you probably just need to follow proper procedures. You could probably put down a trail surface if it allowed drainage through the material. I'm not claiming to be an expert but it's not as restrictive as some might think unless you are only 50 ft from the water.

If it's not the SPA, what regulation are you referring to?

Jeff, I believe it's the SPA. The track is within 50' for most of the western shore of Paugus Bay.

Woodsy 05-08-2017 06:31 PM

You are grasping at straws.... The railroad ties and their creosote have been there for a 100 years. The WOW trail will not impact the rail line so that's a moot point. They aren't digging up and relocating the rail line.

As far as construction within 150' of the lake... it happens all the time. WOW will require DES to sign off on the project... if they haven't given preliminary approval already.

The harsh reality is the State/people of NH own the railroad right of way AND the shoreline. SD/LB was proposed to the city with the possibility of a rail trail. The nuclear option would not be good for SD/LB or any of the other communities... it would be way better for all if an acceptable compromise on fencing & access could be achieved.

Woodsy

joey2665 05-08-2017 06:45 PM

Phase 1 and 2 are already along Winnisquam and Winnipesaukee River and DES obviously had no issues there so why would they with Pagaus Bay?


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Major 05-08-2017 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 278341)
Phase 1 and 2 are already along Winnisquam and Winnipesaukee River and DES obviously had no issues there so why would they with Pagaus Bay?


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None or very little construction near the water. Anything near the water was already constructed and paved.

joey2665 05-08-2017 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278342)
None or very little construction near the water. Anything near the water was already constructed and paved.



Really? The paving and fencing was along the river prior to "construction " of the WOW Trail? News to me.


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Major 05-09-2017 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 278355)
Really? The paving and fencing was along the river prior to "construction " of the WOW Trail? News to me.


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Very little of the WOW trail goes by the river. It crosses the river at the Messer Street Bridge and at the Fair Street Bridge. From the map, it appears that the WOW trail (phases I and II) abuts the water at the southern end of Lake Opeechee and along the eastern/southern shoreline of Winnisquam.

joey2665 05-09-2017 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 278367)
Very little of the WOW trail goes by the river. It crosses the river at the Messer Street Bridge and at the Fair Street Bridge. From the map, it appears that the WOW trail (phases I and II) abuts the water at the southern end of Lake Opeechee and along the eastern/southern shoreline of Winnisquam.



Yes it does go along Opeechee and Winnisquam I have been down both phases so again the DES had no issues with these so I don't think they will be a stumbling block for phase 3. That will come from the abutting communities. Although I know someone mentioned Meredith Bay was against the trail but I know for a fact they have not taken any public or official opinion on the trail.


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Major 05-09-2017 08:47 AM

To the best of my knowledge, the only community that has made a public stand against the WOW trail is SD/LB.

laketrout 05-10-2017 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BroadHopper (Post 278289)
Phase I does have a chain linked fence and the reason for that was federal safety rules and regulations as the track is considered active. Phase II has a combination pleasing metal picket fence and wood railing. This is due to changes in regulation result of feedback. I urge you to take a walk on Phase II and enjoy the new fences. Phase II connect to the Belmont Trail that brings you near Mosquito Bridge. I wonderful walk.

Belmont plans will eventually connect to the Tilton trail. From there the possibility of biking/hiking to Concord or Hanover is planned.

There is preliminary planning in Meredith about building a rail trail from downtown Meredith down to the Weirs. This is really exciting!

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
There would be a chain link or high fence as Southdown/Long Bay have docks 56 in Southdown/Marina and 1 beach. Long Bay has a Marina/docks and 2 beaches so fencing would go up to keep the liability down. Liability insurance would be huge from what I heard plus the fact that the private communities do not feel like hosting folks just strolling into their lawns. Were not talking 10 families and 40 people more then 2500 +/- people reside there during the year.

On a side note the trail is going over or near Pickering cove north of Long Bay/SDS shores near the railroad tracks and the right of way is only 5 feet wide and stretches for 1/4 of a mile. The causeway near/over the water would have to be built up at a huge cost in that community/area.

Laconia is in a precocious position as a huge amount of the residential tax valuation/base comes from LB and SDS with 660 houses and condos.

I am long time Laconia resident and happen to live in that area. The trail could be devised to make people content but will probably be tied up in the courts for years.

laketrout 05-10-2017 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Sold (Post 278210)
A review of the plan (Plan Book 141 Page 19) shows that SD does not own the land that the RR tracks are on and that it is owned by the State. The State has owned that land longer than SD has been in existence or even a dream. The SD plan would not show a proposed rail trail as it is not part of or on their property. Good luck fighting this - I think you will be donating your money to a very smart and savy attorney who will gladly take it off your hands, as much as you wish to waste.

Just sold, there is always room for negotiation. Many SDS/LB are pissed off they will boycott businesses, restaurants and bars in the area, and that accounts for a lot of food and adult beverages. Me personally I wont boycott.

Woodsy 05-10-2017 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by laketrout (Post 278433)
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
There would be a chain link or high fence as Southdown/Long Bay have docks 56 in Southdown/Marina and 1 beach. Long Bay has a Marina/docks and 2 beaches so fencing would go up to keep the liability down. Liability insurance would be huge from what I heard plus the fact that the private communities do not feel like hosting folks just strolling into their lawns. Were not talking 10 families and 40 people more then 2500 +/- people reside there during the year.

On a side note the trail is going over or near Pickering cove north of Long Bay/SDS shores near the railroad tracks and the right of way is only 5 feet wide and stretches for 1/4 of a mile. The causeway near/over the water would have to be built up at a huge cost in that community/area.

Laconia is in a precocious position as a huge amount of the residential tax valuation/base comes from LB and SDS with 660 houses and condos.

I am long time Laconia resident and happen to live in that area. The trail could be devised to make people content but will probably be tied up in the courts for years.

Laketrout...

The fence design is a negotiable thing.... it does not have to be an ugly chain link fence. On some parts of the existing WOW trail its a pretty nice post & beam design. Certainly that design or something similar should be acceptable.

There is no liability for Southdown as the property in question is owned by the State of NH. Also there is a provision in NH State law that absolves owners of liability when their land is used recreationally by the public. It is this law that keeps snowmobile & ATV trails open to the public.

Laconia is not in a precarious position tax-wise with regards to SD/LB... any possible devaluation of the SD/LB tax base would take years to show up. There are 600+ houses/condos and there are only 12-14 for sale with an avg price of approx. $436K. Not a huge turnover. Traditionally Rail Trails have added value to a community not devalued a community.

IMHO, I think SD/LB is in the precarious position... the nuclear option of NH not renewing their waterfront lease would be most detrimental to all involved.


Woodsy

PDC4LIFE 05-10-2017 04:21 PM

Crime and Property Values
 
Interesting Article: Property values and crime are to be considered.

http://citizenreviewonline.org/2010/...ost_crime.html

laketrout 05-21-2017 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsy (Post 278447)
Laketrout...

The fence design is a negotiable thing.... it does not have to be an ugly chain link fence. On some parts of the existing WOW trail its a pretty nice post & beam design. Certainly that design or something similar should be acceptable.

There is no liability for Southdown as the property in question is owned by the State of NH. Also there is a provision in NH State law that absolves owners of liability when their land is used recreationally by the public. It is this law that keeps snowmobile & ATV trails open to the public.

Laconia is not in a precarious position tax-wise with regards to SD/LB... any possible devaluation of the SD/LB tax base would take years to show up. There are 600+ houses/condos and there are only 12-14 for sale with an avg price of approx. $436K. Not a huge turnover. Traditionally Rail Trails have added value to a community not devalued a community.

IMHO, I think SD/LB is in the precarious position... the nuclear option of NH not renewing their waterfront lease would be most detrimental to all involved.


Woodsy

To each his own. Real Estate sale transactions are slow currently as there is little inventory. Woodsy you quote an average sales price of $436k that's an average and nothing to sneeze at, the average home in Laconia sells for less then 1/2 that. Average Sales of SDS/LB homes equal about 10% of total units per year, & with 660 homes, that percentage fluctuates. In any given year the # of SDS homes sold might be 65 units or 40 units it depends on many economic factors.

With Miles of private land and boat docks and marinas on eithe side of the proposed trail, there is room for Liability and other issues. When 660 residences in your city speak up its time to listen.

Woodsy 06-01-2017 08:24 AM

First Shot Fired....
 
That didn't take long....... Not sure how they think a lawsuit will somehow force the state's hand. It would set very dangerous legal precedent.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/newsx...n-file-lawsuit

Woodsy

thinkxingu 06-01-2017 01:10 PM

According to the article, the associations were instituted with the understanding that the path would be built? And now they'll not only burn their owners' and taxpayers' funds in litigation but maybe risk the continued ROW access? Very interesting case for sure.

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Seaplane Pilot 06-01-2017 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkxingu (Post 279416)
According to the article, the associations were instituted with the understanding that the path would be built? And now they'll not only burn their owners' and taxpayers' funds in litigation but maybe risk the continued ROW access? Very interesting case for sure.

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I agree. I would think they would pick their fights very carefully because if they piss off the State, what's to stop the State from just cutting off their access to the waterfront? Then what? Moral of the story: Don't pull the lion's tail.

topwater 06-02-2017 03:50 PM

I believe everything will be shown very clearly on the maps or charts ( I'm so confused LOL ) that the State owns. This will be in court for some time. Good for south Down shores for sticking to their guns on this. As I have mentioned earlier IMO this is a TOTAL waste of money. Seems everyone is fine with it UNLESS it's in your backyard. Out of site...out of mind.:cheers:

SAMIAM 06-03-2017 10:29 AM

The thought of a waterfront fence from Lakeport to the Weirs absolutely gives me the chills.
I don't understand how anyone who cares about the stewardship of our lakes would want to do that........but why stop there.
Lets go on to Squam.

joey2665 06-04-2017 08:02 AM

This morning for the first time I ran the complete WOW Trail. Full disclosure I was a resident of Long Bay for 10 years and pretty much against the trail. It was extremely nice with several access points and the split rail fencing towards the Belmont line was esthetically pleasing. Very well kept and only saw 4 pieces of trash along the whole way. If done correctly it may not be as bad as most think.


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trfour 06-04-2017 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 279542)
it may not be as bad as most think.


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If 'most' thought it was bad, the Wow Trail never would have been started in the first place...

joey2665 06-05-2017 07:32 AM

WOW Trail Phase 3 Heating up...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by trfour (Post 279561)
If 'most' thought it was bad, the Wow Trail never would have been started in the first place...



Speaking about "most" as far as those opposing the next phase including those in South Down and Long Bay.

Also have mixed feeling about suing the DOT. Going to make future cooperation with the DOT and city of Laconia when other issues in those communities arise and their assistance is needed



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brk-lnt 06-05-2017 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seaplane Pilot (Post 279419)
What's to stop the State from just cutting off their access to the waterfront?

Taxes?

Do you think the state and/or city of Laconia want to immediately decrease the value of every property in there by 10-20%? Additionally, if access was rescinded in what seemed to be a matter of spite it could give South Down a stronger position in the end (though at a higher legal cost).

Major 06-05-2017 12:46 PM

WOW Trail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brk-lnt (Post 279585)
Taxes?

Do you think the state and/or city of Laconia want to immediately decrease the value of every property in there by 10-20%? Additionally, if access was rescinded in what seemed to be a matter of spite it could give South Down a stronger position in the end (though at a higher legal cost).

I do not know/understand the legal ins and outs of the State's right of way. The land belongs to SD/LB, and there are big chunks of land east of the right of way. No matter the outcome, SD/LB residents are entitled access to their respective beaches, which are clearly outside of the right of way, on land owned by the SD/LB community.

It is my understanding from two separate sources that the WOW Trail powerbrokers are putting pressure on the railroad to shut it down between Lakeport and the Weirs. Insuring the safety of the WOW Trail users could be a very expensive proposition, and it isn't clear as to who is responsible.

Woodsy 06-05-2017 01:04 PM

Obv, the state limiting SD/LB waterfront access would be the nuclear option, not preferable to anyone. However, A tax devaluation would take years to see as its based on sales comps. I seriously doubt you would see a 20% reduction in values and a likewise reduction in Laconia's tax base.

The lawsuit, IMHO is fragile at best. The gist of the lawsuit is SD/LB are trying to tell the state what it can/cannot do with state owned property. That is a very slippery slope and a win by SD/LB would set a HUGE legal precedent that would ripple thru the state. I don't see any judge signing off on a private citizens association telling the state what it can or cannot do... I don't think the lawsuit will be allowed to go too far forward.

If this was an eminent domain lawsuit you would have a much better chance.

IMHO SD/LB would be better off using their $$ to negotiate an acceptable fence and path design.

Woodsy

Woodsy 06-05-2017 01:11 PM

here is a link that shows the RR ROW for those who want to see what is in question... you will have to zoom in on Paugus Bay. As you can see SD/LB/various yacht clubs owns very little of the waterfront and they have to cross the state RR ROW to get there....

https://www.axisgis.com/LaconiaNH/

Woodsy

StardogChampion 06-05-2017 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsy (Post 279602)
here is a link that shows the RR ROW for those who want to see what is in question... you will have to zoom in on Paugus Bay. As you can see SD/LB/various yacht clubs owns very little of the waterfront and they have to cross the state RR ROW to get there....

https://www.axisgis.com/LaconiaNH/

Woodsy

The tax maps seem to indicate the RR is not a ROW but the land is owned by the state and there are several specific ROWs across the RR land indicated on the map. Otherwise, the RR would be drawn differently and the parcels not separated outside the corridor.

That's much different than the land being owned by various property owners along the route and the RR having a ROW.

So if the state owns the land and the properties along the RR have specific ROWs, then there isn't much anyone can do on either side. If the state did put up a fence it would have to have access to those ROWs. Given that it seems money better spent would be on both parties agreeing on the aesthetics/maintenance of access to ROWs/etc. Only winner here is going to be the lawyers.

joey2665 06-05-2017 05:48 PM

Absolutely Agree
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StardogChampion (Post 279623)
The tax maps seem to indicate the RR is not a ROW but the land is owned by the state and there are several specific ROWs across the RR land indicated on the map. Otherwise, the RR would be drawn differently and the parcels not separated outside the corridor.

That's much different than the land being owned by various property owners along the route and the RR having a ROW.

So if the state owns the land and the properties along the RR have specific ROWs, then there isn't much anyone can do on either side. If the state did put up a fence it would have to have access to those ROWs. Given that it seems money better spent would be on both parties agreeing on the aesthetics/maintenance of access to ROWs/etc. Only winner here is going to be the lawyers.

I whole heartedly agree. Only the lawyers will make out on this issue in the end.

brk-lnt 06-06-2017 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsy (Post 279600)
The gist of the lawsuit is SD/LB are trying to tell the state what it can/cannot do with state owned property.

I disagree, I think SD/LB is asking the state to look a current, proven, use of the land, it's impact on the community/etc., and compare that with a proposed change that will have some unknown impact (IMO, you cannot argue "zero impact", every change has some impact).

Personally (IANAL), I think the very long delay on getting the trail built works in South Down's favor, it is like the inverse of Adverse Possession concepts. Yes, there was a stated plan for a trail when the ROW was granted, but after a certain amount of time (30 years!) goes by with no trail, and certain aspects of the community, and its draw for owners, develops around the fact that there is no trail/fence/access hindrance, you can understand why people are opposed to it.

It would be different, IMO, if SD were attempting to block access to a proposed emergency services road construction, or a similar thing that would have clear, proven benefit to the community at large. You also cannot deny some of the crime and other issues around Laconia, again, making resistance to easy access into the community understandable.

The WOW trail is at least partly being presented as something that will give "the people" freer access to the lakes/shoreline, and that is a noble cause, however the state effectively allowed the current situation where much of the shoreline is privately owned (and, not getting into side-debates about technical access to shorline areas, just saying that much of the property abutting the shore is privately owned). Trying to now compensate for selling off access by implementing a walking trail with undetermined impact on some communities is really not a balanced approach.

jeffk 06-06-2017 10:10 AM

I'm not sure a ROW for public use purposes has a time limit.

If it was for private use, say me using a property for access and never exercising it, maybe an argument could be made for forfeiting my access right.

I doubt the same would be true for public purposes which often stretch out over decades.

Further, the possible damages are speculative, possibly even unlikely. A well planned and tasteful path and fencing need not have significant impact on the adjacent properties. Other area on the WOW trail don't have problems with criminal activity. Unproven worries are not a basis for solid decision making.

If I lived there, I would certainly want a place at the table as decisions are made but I don't think NO! is a workable answer.

joey2665 06-06-2017 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffk (Post 279682)
I'm not sure a ROW for public use purposes has a time limit.

If it was for private use, say me using a property for access and never exercising it, maybe an argument could be made for forfeiting my access right.

I doubt the same would be true for public purposes which often stretch out over decades.

Further, the possible damages are speculative, possibly even unlikely. A well planned and tasteful path and fencing need not have significant impact on the adjacent properties. Other area on the WOW trail don't have problems with criminal activity. Unproven worries are not a basis for solid decision making.

If I lived there, I would certainly want a place at the table as decisions are made but I don't think NO! is a workable answer.

I agree with Jeff. As a long time resident of Long Bay the best plan of action would be for all affected communities to come together with the City and WOW Trail organization to come up with a plan acceptable to all. Otherwise, as usual the lawyers make out and it costs the taxpayers and residents more money in the end. The SD/LB people could have the potential in paying legal fees on both ends in the way of special assessments and increased property tax.

baygo 06-06-2017 10:18 AM

Alternate route
 
Wouldn't it save a lot of time money and aggravation if they were to alter the route to come up Elm Street, then bypass south down shores on Parade Road and turn down Severance Road to pick up the snowmobile trail that goes through the state forest back down to the lake. Everybody wins��

Major 06-06-2017 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffk (Post 279682)
Other area on the WOW trail don't have problems with criminal activity. Unproven worries are not a basis for solid decision making.

I guess 132 incidents over a six-year period doesn't rise to the level of significant criminal activity. If it was your street that had 132 incidents of assault, vandalism, drug use, tent cities, etc., I think you'd have a different opinion.

Publicly, the Laconia Police will take the position that the WOW Trail has minimal criminal activity. Privately, they will tell you otherwise. The WOW Trail is an avenue of egress to crimes occurring in downtown Laconia. Crime is definitely prevalent. SD/LB concerns about crime are not unproven or unfounded, but based on facts.

Major 06-06-2017 10:22 AM

Great Suggestion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by baygo (Post 279684)
Wouldn't it save a lot of time money and aggravation if they were to alter the route to come up Elm Street, then bypass south down shores on Paris Road and turn down Severance Road to pick up the snowmobile trail that goes through the state forest back down to the lake. Everybody wins😀

SD/LB has offered similar solutions. The WOW Trail organizers won't consider alternative routes. However, they are financially motivated to stick to their guns since the Federal funding only applies to rail-to-trail type projects.

jeffk 06-06-2017 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baygo (Post 279684)
Wouldn't it save a lot of time money and aggravation if they were to alter the route to come up Elm Street, then bypass south down shores on Paris Road and turn down Severance Road to pick up the snowmobile trail that goes through the state forest back down to the lake. Everybody wins😀

If I was the State, I don't think I would want to set the precedent of not using state land when it can be legally used. It could lead to lots of headaches in the future.

joey2665 06-06-2017 11:05 AM

Disagree
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 279685)
I guess 132 incidents over a six-year period doesn't rise to the level of significant criminal activity. If it was your street that had 132 incidents of assault, vandalism, drug use, tent cities, etc., I think you'd have a different opinion.

Publicly, the Laconia Police will take the position that the WOW Trail has minimal criminal activity. Privately, they will tell you otherwise. The WOW Trail is an avenue of egress to crimes occurring in downtown Laconia. Crime is definitely prevalent. SD/LB concerns about crime are not unproven or unfounded, but based on facts.

I would like to see the stats before and after the trail. Before the WOW Trail the criminal activity took place on the rail road tracks anyway. I have first hand knowledge as my home and several other were broken into in Long Bay and the criminal walked down the tracks to get in and the same way out and I have witness drug exchanges behind my home in LB in a parking area below my home late evenings and early mornings

Woodsy 06-06-2017 12:25 PM

The whole purpose of a Rail Trail is to separate people from vehicles as much as possible. They are hugely successful in other parts of NH and many, many other states!

Rerouting the rail trail to city streets just accommodate some private development seems silly to me and sets a dangerous precedent. Especially when that private development was sold to the city with the rail trail as part of the plan... This is a case of NIMBY pure and simple.

The winners here will be the lawyers. The reality is, the general public isn't going to feel bad for people who own homes in a wealthy gated community who want to limit public access to publicly owned land. SD/LB will ultimately lose the lawsuit, but like the speed limit it will cause some serious divisions. It already is and that is kind of sad.

Woodsy

Major 06-06-2017 01:07 PM

Sd/lb
 
Jeff, to quote a great American presidential candidate "at this point in time what difference does this make." Whether crime was more or less prior to the WOW Trail has no impact on what it is now. We know that between 2010 and 2016, a six year period, there were 132 reported incidents that required police investigation. Some were very serious. My suspicion is that crime was less prior to the WOW Trail since the use of opioids has exploded the last several years. However, this is just a guess.

Woodsy, you think SD/LB is a "wealthy" community? I agree it's very nice, but for the most part the condos are very modest and most of the homes are modest. No one is going to confuse SD/LB with Governor's Island or Grouse Point for that matter. The primary reason why SD/LB is gated is because the residents like to drive golf carts. That's one of the reasons why the roads were never turned over to the City.

jeffk 06-06-2017 02:11 PM

Crime?
 
I would suggest that there may be more questionable activity in parts of the trail that go through some areas of Laconia but not others just like there is more crime in general in some areas of Laconia rather than others. If the trail is fully completed one day will the crime in Laconia transfer to Meredith just because a trail connects them? I rather doubt it. Do criminals in Laconia make a habit of driving over to South Down? It's not all that far. I suspect they don't. They prefer to stay on their own turf and in areas that are not as wide open where their activity might be seen. South Down is pretty wide open and not easy to hide in. I suspect the people there know their neighbors and would quickly report any strangers hanging around. It wouldn't be a welcoming area for criminals and they would know it.

joey2665 06-06-2017 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 279695)
Jeff, to quote a great American presidential candidate "at this point in time what difference does this make." Whether crime was more or less prior to the WOW Trail has no impact on what it is now. We know that between 2010 and 2016, a six year period, there were 132 reported incidents that required police investigation. Some were very serious. My suspicion is that crime was less prior to the WOW Trail since the use of opioids has exploded the last several years. However, this is just a guess.

Woodsy, you think SD/LB is a "wealthy" community? I agree it's very nice, but for the most part the condos are very modest and most of the homes are modest. No one is going to confuse SD/LB with Governor's Island or Grouse Point for that matter. The primary reason why SD/LB is gated is because the residents like to drive golf carts. That's one of the reasons why the roads were never turned over to the City.

It was Joey not Jeff who made the crime comment and you validated my point. You can have all the suspicion you want but there is no trail as of yet in SD/LB and I have been broken into and witnessed many drug interactions. I seriously doubt the trail will cause and increase as the area is extremely accessible via the rail tracks and the codes to the gates are the worst kept secret in Laconia. My point being crime really is not an arguing point not to have the trail go through SD/LB

brk-lnt 06-06-2017 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 279700)
My point being crime really is not an arguing point not to have the trail go through SD/LB

So then your position is that since there is already crime no concern should be given to changes that might INCREASE crime? If I have misinterpreted your comment please clarify, thanks!

brk-lnt 06-06-2017 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffk (Post 279682)
I'm not sure a ROW for public use purposes has a time limit.

Statistically speaking, I don't think it has a time limit either. It would not be to the state's benefit to put auto-expiration clauses on ROW grants, or similar exceptions based on future use potential.

However, like many things legal, events over time often cause things to be reevaluated and for parties to realize that language was not specific enough, other precedents or decisions in tangential lawsuits come into play, etc.

SD/LB has changed a lot in character over time. Look at some of the early buildings vs. later ones, it appears, to me, that it started as more of a simple/affordable community and morphed over time into one that contains more and more higher-valued properties. Some of those property owners may have built elsewhere or chosen to alter their plans had they anticipated a 30 year old dormant easement to suddenly be put to use. I am not saying that fully justifies the opposition, but it does impact things (IMO).

When we purchased in South Down (2006), I do not recall seeing any clauses, deed restrictions, etc. that mentioned this ROW existing and being earmarked for a public trail and associated fences to be built through the community. Should potential buyers have been made aware of how the common area property, and the community at large, could be impacted? Are there other precedents in similar circumstances?

Major 06-06-2017 02:59 PM

Sd/lb
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 279700)
It was Joey not Jeff who made the crime comment and you validated my point. You can have all the suspicion you want but there is no trail as of yet in SD/LB and I have been broken into and witnessed many drug interactions. I seriously doubt the trail will cause and increase as the area is extremely accessible via the rail tracks and the codes to the gates are the worst kept secret in Laconia. My point being crime really is not an arguing point not to have the trail go through SD/LB

Sorry for the misquote Joey. I've lived full time in SD/LB since 2008, and part time since 2001. I have to admit, I've seen sketchy people from time-to-time at the basketball court near the entrance of South Down late at night. However, I am not aware of ANY crime in SD/LB. I'm sure there have been instances, such as your break-ins, but for the most part, SD/LB is a crime-free community. I feel extremely safe.

Much like politics, I don't think either side is going to win over the other side. From my perspective, I hope funding for Phase III never materializes. I think the WOW Trail's $5-10 million estimate is absurdly low. There are issues with the stretch between Pickerel and Perch Ponds, as well with navigating under the Weirs Beach Bridge. Who knows, maybe the litigation will force a compromise. Stranger things have happened.

joey2665 06-06-2017 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 279704)
Sorry for the misquote Joey. I've lived full time in SD/LB since 2008, and part time since 2001. I have to admit, I've seen sketchy people from time-to-time at the basketball court near the entrance of South Down late at night. However, I am not aware of ANY crime in SD/LB. I'm sure there have been instances, such as your break-ins, but for the most part, SD/LB is a crime-free community. I feel extremely safe.

Much like politics, I don't think either side is going to win over the other side. From my perspective, I hope funding for Phase III never materializes. I think the WOW Trail's $5-10 million estimate is absurdly low. There are issues with the stretch between Pickerel and Perch Ponds, as well with navigating under the Weirs Beach Bridge. Who knows, maybe the litigation will force a compromise. Stranger things have happened.

Absolutely agree with the costs and potential construction pit falls at Perch and Pickerel Ponds. Just for interest sake pass by the parking lot underneath prides point late at night you will be surprised by what you can see. I have been a part time resident since 2006 but moving on now to a different location, its getting too crowded in there for me. Incredible the amount of new homes being built there.

Major 06-06-2017 03:11 PM

Sd/lb
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 279705)
Absolutely agree with the costs and potential construction pit falls at Perch and Pickerel Ponds. Just for interest sake pass by the parking lot underneath prides point late at night you will be surprised by what you can see. I have been a part time resident since 2006 but moving on now to a different location, its getting too crowded in there for me. Incredible the amount of new homes being built there.

I will definitely check out the parking lot. Good luck on your move. Sorry to lose you as a neighbor.

joey2665 06-06-2017 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 279707)
I will definitely check out the parking lot. Good luck on your move. Sorry to lose you as a neighbor.

Thank you very much, the were a lot of pros and cons to consider. I will be around, my ex has a home in SD

jeffk 06-06-2017 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brk-lnt (Post 279703)
... When we purchased in South Down (2006), I do not recall seeing any clauses, deed restrictions, etc. that mentioned this ROW existing and being earmarked for a public trail and associated fences to be built through the community. Should potential buyers have been made aware of how the common area property, and the community at large, could be impacted? Are there other precedents in similar circumstances?

Being a non lawyer you can take my opinion for what it's worth but since the public trail is not an encumbrance on any South Down property, there is no reason you would have seen it on any of your property documents. It is related to the STATE property. Most people wouldn't build near railroad tracks to begin with but the bet here was that the railroad in NH was dead and eventually the tracks would get torn up. Oops.

Sometimes it's not what can happen on YOUR property that you need to be aware of; it's what can happen on your NEIGHBOR'S property. Suppose a neighbor's property was zoned commercial (yours is not) and poof, suddenly they sell and a business is being built in your back yard and there is not a lot you can do about it except maybe to get some buffering put in. Unless you really dug into the real estate situation in the area, you probably would never see it coming. Most of us just aren't that careful. I think that is what is happening here.

joey2665 06-06-2017 03:38 PM

When we purchased in South Down (2006), I do not recall seeing any clauses, deed restrictions, etc. that mentioned this ROW existing and being earmarked for a public trail and associated fences to be built through the community. Should potential buyers have been made aware of how the common area property, and the community at large, could be impacted? Are there other precedents in similar circumstances?[/QUOTE]

When I purchased in 2006 in SD before moving to LB, my broker provided me with copies of the original declaration along with the SD by-laws. The ROW is in there but also my broker discussed it with us before signing our purchase contract. Your broker at the time should have made you aware or at least provided all the HOA documents

Woodsy 06-06-2017 04:05 PM

I think the due diligence unfortunately falls on the buyer...

The buyer(s) in SD/LB probably knew about the RR ROW, as it is a physical landmark. I seriously doubt that most buyers were aware or were made aware that the RR ROW extends to the water for most of the shoreline, and that property did not belong to SD/LB. The only way to know would be to look at the plot plans/tax map for SD/LB that I listed above. I am sure no RE Agent would point that out and possibly lose a sale. Its a pretty crappy situation for sure!

I can see SD/LB taking issue with the fencing, I wouldn't want a 6' high chain link fence there either. However that's a negotiation, not a lawsuit. Especially where there is some very nice low post & beam fencing in other areas of the WOW trail.

In the winter, the state allows snowmobiles/cross country skiers/hikers etc. to use the RR ROW as a connecting corridor trail. Public use/access utilizing the RR ROW thru SD/LB is already approved by the state. I am sure that was a surprise to some unsuspecting buyers too. So arguing against further public access is probably pretty futile as the state has ALWAYS allowed it.

Woodsy

TiltonBB 06-07-2017 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brk-lnt (Post 279703)

SD/LB has changed a lot in character over time. Look at some of the early buildings vs. later ones, it appears, to me, that it started as more of a simple/affordable community and morphed over time into one that contains more and more higher-valued properties. Some of those property owners may have built elsewhere or chosen to alter their plans had they anticipated a 30 year old dormant easement to suddenly be put to use. I am not saying that fully justifies the opposition, but it does impact things

There are two sides to that coin: Some people who like the idea of a trail may have decided to buy there hoping it would get built.

brk-lnt 06-07-2017 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TiltonBB (Post 279734)
There are two sides to that coin: Some people who like the idea of a trail may have decided to buy there hoping it would get built.

Good point :)

Dad sold the C * C 06-07-2017 12:30 PM

I have watched this back and forth, pro and con on this thread and know this is a very decisive issue. I have experience with the Minuteman bike trail that runs from Bedford MA, thru Lexington, Arlington and ends at Alewife in Cambridge.

First off, as others have said, many people did not want the trail built, or saw a need for it. Now, it is a selling point for neighborhoods all along the trail and it is a major recreation and commuter way and has spurred multiple Retail stops along the way.

Whether we do not want the trail in our back yard or think it is a waste of money, we have to understand that many people want these trails and are willing to pay for them. Yes this means in most cases we all pay for them through our taxes.

The Minuteman trail ends near the middle of Bedford MA, but the old railroad bed continues to Concord and a National Wildlife refuge. Concord and the Feds have little desire for the paved trail to continue in their jurisdiction, so it was a surprise to some of us when it was proposed at town meeting to enhance the trail and pave it the rest of the way to the Concord line. I personally had an issue with dumping a lot of people on a busy road with only mountain bikes and walkers able to continue along the old dirt RR bed.

I was on a committee that could block the primary proposed Funding from even reaching the Town Meeting floor; but we realized that many people wanted this so we voted to allow it to go to Town Meeting. There was discussion at TM but it passed with 2/3rds vote. It is still a long process as funds were approved for partial design and that has been going on for over 5 years.

Is it expensive, YES, but I think the trail will be good for the area like these trails have been across the region and the country. My advice to the 2 communities in opposition to the trail would be to save your money and use it to work with the WOW trail for better fencing, screening and access options. We have done this with other municipal projects and it can be done with benefits to everyone. It could be as simple as covering the extra cost for a darker or better style fence.

Redbarn 06-07-2017 02:18 PM

Golf carts
 
They should allow golf carts on the trail, might sway some opinion, being able to drive from south down the weirs to Meredith on a cart sounds like fun. Kind of shrink the community's and tie them together. Just a thought.

joey2665 06-07-2017 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redbarn (Post 279752)
They should allow golf carts on the trail, might sway some opinion, being able to drive from south down the weirs to Meredith on a cart sounds like fun. Kind of shrink the community's and tie them together. Just a thought.

That's what they do in many over 55 villages in Florida, such as The Villages that is a huge community where the main mode of transportation is the golf cart, but in this case I do not think it would be very safe for the walkers, cyclists and runners

Redbarn 06-07-2017 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey2665 (Post 279753)
That's what they do in many over 55 villages in Florida, such as The Villages that is a huge community where the main mode of transportation is the golf cart, but in this case I do not think it would be very safe for the walkers, cyclists and runners

Yeah I knew that would be the argument against. But l would argue I am more dangerous on a bicycle going twice as fast as golf cart to a pedestrian than a golf cart.
I would also say like you said in Florida it is very common to mix carts with everything else, even on the street with cars. Even here south down, Meredith Bay, Grosse point, they mix the two. The cart path from Meredith Bay to Akwa mixes the two at a very steep grade and is still safe for pedestrians.

Don't get me wrong I know it will never happen but if the wow trail had to happen this would make it cool. Fun to talk about.

(side note, still wish the tracks had a pedestrian trolley)

Major 06-07-2017 03:54 PM

Grouse Point
 
Grouse Point has steep grades too. When my parents lived there, a 12-year old girl died rolling a golf cart down a steep embankment. Kind of off topic, but golf carts, while fun, can be dangerous on steep hills.

joey2665 06-07-2017 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redbarn (Post 279755)
Yeah I knew that would be the argument against. But l would argue I am more dangerous on a bicycle going twice as fast as golf cart to a pedestrian than a golf cart.

I would also say like you said in Florida it is very common to mix carts with everything else, even on the street with cars. Even here south down, Meredith Bay, Grosse point, they mix the two. The cart path from Meredith Bay to Akwa mixes the two at a very steep grade and is still safe for pedestrians.



Don't get me wrong I know it will never happen but if the wow trail had to happen this would make it cool. Fun to talk about.



(side note, still wish the tracks had a pedestrian trolley)



I think it would be awesome to take the golf cart to the weirs or Meredith. Wishful thinking.


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