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Old 09-10-2017, 11:31 AM   #1
mcdude
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Default Winnipesaukee island owner faces fines of $1,000 a day for home expansion

http://www.unionleader.com/Winni-isl...home-expansion
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like it's a case of "better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission". I may not know much, but I know better than to expand my island property beyond the original, grandfathered foundation. Not matter what happens or who is at fault, there will not be a happy resolution...
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:15 PM   #3
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Garcia, I'm with you. It's hard to believe he didn't know he could not expand. I'm glad to see DES and the judge enforcing this.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #4
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I am looking at the before and after pics and I don't see where he extended the footprint of the building. He certainly went up higher but I can't see where he extended the original foundation....

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Old 09-10-2017, 04:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
I am looking at the before and after pics and I don't see where he extended the footprint of the building. He certainly went up higher but I can't see where he extended the original foundation....

Dan
I thought the same, then realized the "after image" is noted as being taken in 2005. The issue seems to be that the home is not on the same footprint as 2 decades ago.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:41 PM   #6
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I thought the same, then realized the "after image" is noted as being taken in 2005. The issue seems to be that the home is not on the same footprint as 2 decades ago.
Another implied point that does not show up in the photo is septic capacity of a 0.18 acre island. It's got to be less than 3 bedrooms, and although the original footprint would be grandfathered, the owner would not get approval to add bedrooms and bathrooms.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:47 PM   #7
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It's absurd that he can't do what he wants on that property, Who does it affect and what negative effect does it have on the lake? Edit to say as long as the septic issue is solved.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
I am looking at the before and after pics and I don't see where he extended the footprint of the building. He certainly went up higher but I can't see where he extended the original foundation....

Dan
Look again. In the 2005 photo the front of the house is behind the boathouse. In the current photo, the house expands past the boathouse.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:11 PM   #9
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It's absurd that he can't do what he wants on that property, Who does it affect and what negative effect does it have on the lake? Edit to say as long as the septic issue is solved.
Noreast--Three issues, I think we can agree on at least two of them:

First--As you noted, septic needs to be solved, and I think we both assume it has not.

Second--Though some portion of the boathouse was grandfathered, he expanded over water that is owned by the state. I hope we can agree he had no right to do that.

Third--One issue that many are unaware of is that runoff from solid surfaces such as pavement and roofs deposits unfiltered contaminants into the lake. Natural groundcover and other porous materials provide an important filter to protect the water. Expanding his footprint in close proximity to the water is very likely to have increased this pollution. More info here:

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/...es-wd-10-8.pdf
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:37 PM   #10
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Default Wrong offender?

We have seen instances where land was cleared or other shoreland violations occurred, and the owner simply shrugged his shoulders and paid the fine.
Perhaps the remedy is to fine and impound the equipment of those who did the work? Impound the barge, backhoe, chainsaw, and put a restraining order on those folks, might set a better example.

The owner asked others to do the work. Somebody else committed the crime. Aren't they all guilty? Or do I read too many mystery/crime novels?

Can one of our lawyers guide this thread?
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:13 AM   #11
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Did anyone notice, once again, the Union Leader has inaccurate info ?

Wilcomb Island - not Welcome Island ............... or does this Island fall into the same debate as Saunders Bay vs. Sanders Bay ?




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Old 09-12-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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I don't feel bad for this guy. It certainly looks like he's pushed the boundaries of what's allowed on that small island property.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:19 PM   #13
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Did anyone notice, once again, the Union Leader has inaccurate info ?

Wilcomb Island - not Welcome Island ............... or does this Island fall into the same debate as Saunders Bay vs. Sanders Bay ?

.
This website lists it as Welcome Island.

http://www.lwhs.us/islands/islandlist.htm

Bizer as well:

http://www.bizer.com/winislan.htm#islandb

I think this guy clearly pushed the limits too far and needs to be held accountable. Lets face it, if he was a marine contractor he knew the laws.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:43 PM   #14
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This website lists it as Welcome Island.

http://www.lwhs.us/islands/islandlist.htm

Bizer as well:

http://www.bizer.com/winislan.htm#islandb

I think this guy clearly pushed the limits too far and needs to be held accountable. Lets face it, if he was a marine contractor he knew the laws.
1 Unknown-B11 320m NW of Spindle Point in Meredith Bay
5 Oak 800m N of Spindle Point, S Boardman's Pt
4 Hen NE Oak.I (a.k.a. Gypsy)
1 Gull Rocks A pile of rocks above water, 250m ENE of Hen I
5 Pitchwood N of FL#44
3 Welcome Bt Pitchwood I & Stonedam I {AKA Wilcomb I}
3 Isle of Pines North of Welcome; 550m NE FL#44
6 Stonedam Between Pitchwood I and Meredith Neck
4 Ledge BT Stonedam I and Fish Cove
3 Dale 300m SW Ledge I
20-------------------

Bizer actually lists both names so you are both correct.

I do agree, just because you own an entire island does not mean you can build whatever you want, there are still building codes and DES laws the must be follow and I am sure he knew what he was doing.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:41 AM   #15
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It's absurd that he can't do what he wants on that property, Who does it affect and what negative effect does it have on the lake? Edit to say as long as the septic issue is solved.
As a marine contractor, he has the capacity to apply for a mooring permit, build an ark, hoist this structure onto the ark, run the ark "aground" on the island, add a Porta-Potty, buy a sticker—and be legal.

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Old 09-13-2017, 08:57 AM   #16
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The mistake many who have offered opinions on this are making is to assume that all of the information in the Union Leader article is correct. It is not.

It is not like he did this in the middle of the night with no permits. He did get permits and even an occupancy permit when the construction was complete.

The information in the Union Leader article that says he has a bidet and a whirlpool tub is not germaine to the issue and only put in there to inflame the reader. Apparently that worked.

All of the facts in this matter have not been made public and it is better that it be settled either in court, or by agreement with the state, but not in the court of public opinion.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:52 AM   #17
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The mistake many who have offered opinions on this are making is to assume that all of the information in the Union Leader article is correct. It is not.

It is not like he did this in the middle of the night with no permits. He did get permits and even an occupancy permit when the construction was complete.

The information in the Union Leader article that says he has a bidet and a whirlpool tub is not germaine to the issue and only put in there to inflame the reader. Apparently that worked.

All of the facts in this matter have not been made public and it is better that it be settled either in court, or by agreement with the state, but not in the court of public opinion.
I'm sure it will be settled in court but that doesn't mean we can't have an opinion. Even if we don't have all the facts we clearly have photo's of before and after that we can base our opinion on. Just because it's legal doesn't automatically make it right.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:58 PM   #18
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I'm no lawyer and I don't know all the facts. I based my response on this statement from the article: ordered Brown to make all the changes to the property agreed to in a consent decree with the state by Aug. 31.

Did he agree to something and then not live up to his end of the bargain?
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:46 PM   #19
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Tilton, I'll look forward to the judicial resolution, and I do not mean to cast aspersions your way, but it's a mighty tall order to ask us to accept that the Union Leader was completely wrong. In addition to Garcia's and BiggD's points, there is the matter of the whole thing just seeming so over the top--3 bedrooms on 0.18 acre, building out over the water...
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:23 PM   #20
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I'm sure it will be settled in court but that doesn't mean we can't have an opinion. Even if we don't have all the facts we clearly have photo's of before and after that we can base our opinion on. Just because it's legal doesn't automatically make it right.
I am just going to leave this comment right here.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:21 PM   #21
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To answer a question above: The sewage goes into a tank that is pumped out as needed so there is no chance of it ever entering the lake. Certainly there is much less of a chance than if someone had a septic tank and a leaching field. There is nothing on that property that in any way jeopardizes the lake.

He feels that he is 100% correct and everything he did was above board and with permits. He has spend several hundred thousand dollars on lawyers and court costs trying to make the case that the state is wrong, and he continues to have that belief.

It is a pretty tall order to fight the state, with all of it's resources, when all you have is your personal funds, but he is committed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:27 PM   #22
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That must be what they do with some of the other houses around the lake that don't have any property, right? When I go by Alton Bay I always wonder how they get a septic in and that must be what they do.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:47 AM   #23
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To answer a question above: The sewage goes into a tank that is pumped out as needed so there is no chance of it ever entering the lake. Certainly there is much less of a chance than if someone had a septic tank and a leaching field. There is nothing on that property that in any way jeopardizes the lake.

That's very interesting; I have never heard of this approach for a fully plumbed home, and a quick Google search also yields nothing.

Apart from the question of whether this is legal, does he include all the water from showers, dishes, whirlpool(!), etc in his definition of sewage? If yes, I would have to agree that he's solved the septic issue, at least from an ethical perspective. But it would be extraordinarily expensive to transport all that water. So I wonder

If he NOT does ship include ALL the water he uses off the island by barge, we are back to my earlier post with the link to control water running into the lake.

Untreated shower water and the like is bad for the lake, and I'm grateful to the authorities for their enforcement efforts on this and the other environmental issues raised, such as expanding his footprint and building over public water.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:14 AM   #24
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That's very interesting; I have never heard of this approach for a fully plumbed home, and a quick Google search also yields nothing.

Apart from the question of whether this is legal, does he include all the water from showers, dishes, whirlpool(!), etc in his definition of sewage? If yes, I would have to agree that he's solved the septic issue, at least from an ethical perspective. But it would be extraordinarily expensive to transport all that water. So I wonder

If he NOT does ship include ALL the water he uses off the island by barge, we are back to my earlier post with the link to control water running into the lake.

Untreated shower water and the like is bad for the lake, and I'm grateful to the authorities for their enforcement efforts on this and the other environmental issues raised, such as expanding his footprint and building over public water.
Many island homes use holding tanks for both gray and black water. Yes it is emptied by a barge same as any island septic tank....

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Old 09-14-2017, 01:57 PM   #25
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Last time I had a septic tank on an island pumped it was $1.00 per gallon. That being said it would get expensive to have holding tanks done frequently.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:31 PM   #26
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To answer a question above: The sewage goes into a tank that is pumped out as needed so there is no chance of it ever entering the lake. Certainly there is much less of a chance than if someone had a septic tank and a leaching field. There is nothing on that property that in any way jeopardizes the lake.

He feels that he is 100% correct and everything he did was above board and with permits. He has spend several hundred thousand dollars on lawyers and court costs trying to make the case that the state is wrong, and he continues to have that belief.

It is a pretty tall order to fight the state, with all of it's resources, when all you have is your personal funds, but he is committed.
Yup, Fighting the state SUCKS, I spent 70k to save 80k, Even if you win you lose. The aggravation and time weren't worth the other 10.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:36 PM   #27
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Noreast--Three issues, I think we can agree on at least two of them:

First--As you noted, septic needs to be solved, and I think we both assume it has not.

Second--Though some portion of the boathouse was grandfathered, he expanded over water that is owned by the state. I hope we can agree he had no right to do that.

Third--One issue that many are unaware of is that runoff from solid surfaces such as pavement and roofs deposits unfiltered contaminants into the lake. Natural groundcover and other porous materials provide an important filter to protect the water. Expanding his footprint in close proximity to the water is very likely to have increased this pollution. More info here:

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/...es-wd-10-8.pdf
I am an environmentalist, So I do have a tough time with some of this, But, when it comes to property rights I just don't trust the state ever to do the right things for the right reasons.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:43 PM   #28
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I am an environmentalist, So I do have a tough time with some of this, But, when it comes to property rights I just don't trust the state ever to do the right things for the right reasons.
In Mass now you pretty much have to install a leach field for your roof drains when you build. Everything has to go into tanks and leach out through the soil. No more down spouts just pouring water on top of the ground. You have to make sure you're not killing any special bugs or animals with the water from your roof. Meanwhile the water from my street drains right out into the woods behind my house?
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:17 PM   #29
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The article states the following:

His plan to remedy the situation calls for Brown to pay for erosion controls on the property, and to amend the deed to reflect that no additional changes to the size of the home can be made except for reconstruction within the existing footprint.

In return, the DES would agree to amend the consent decree to stop all fines immediately, reimburse any fines already collected, and remove any requirement to modify the existing structure

Now to me that sounds like a pretty reasonable and fair resolution. I'm sure now there has been a target on this property every item including the septic has been looked at and found to be acceptable or that certainly would be part of the mandatory fixes required. Far as what was done, I think like anyone else he pushed the envelope a bit but quite honestly look around the lake and tell me others haven't either. I'm surprised DES would return the fines already collected, wow don't see that everyday.

Think that island may need to be rezoned to "high density residential"
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #30
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Meanwhile the water from my street drains right out into the woods behind my house?
Had to laugh Biggd at the irony of the new building codes for storm drains (your right - have to run through a leach field now)-- I too am in MA, live on a "Great Pond" and I watch all the rainwater from our street (starting 3 houses up) wash down the road until my driveway , whereupon it finds a path down my 120' driveway through my lawn and dumps straight into our Lake!

How's THAT for Environmental concern by the Town & State

Oh, and let me add -- I had the town install a "catch basin" at the top of my driveway (no Town sewer in my area)---- unfortunately it is full & overflowing halfway through any reasonable rain storm



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Old 09-14-2017, 04:17 PM   #31
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I am an environmentalist, So I do have a tough time with some of this, But, when it comes to property rights I just don't trust the state ever to do the right things for the right reasons.
Understood. But when they're doing the right thing, we should support them, right?
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:32 PM   #32
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Had to laugh Biggd at the irony of the new building codes for storm drains (your right - have to run through a leach field now)-- I too am in MA, live on a "Great Pond" and I watch all the rainwater from our street (starting 3 houses up) wash down the road until my driveway , whereupon it finds a path down my 120' driveway through my lawn and dumps straight into our Lake!

How's THAT for Environmental concern by the Town & State

Oh, and let me add -- I had the town install a "catch basin" at the top of my driveway (no Town sewer in my area)---- unfortunately it is full & overflowing halfway through any reasonable rain storm



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Old 09-14-2017, 07:05 PM   #33
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I'm surprised DES would return the fines already collected, wow don't see that everyday.
According to the Union Leader article, stopping the fines and reimbursing fines already collected is part of a proposal from state Senator Bob Guida. I have a hard time believing that DES would accept that.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:20 PM   #34
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According to the Union Leader article, stopping the fines and reimbursing fines already collected is part of a proposal from state Senator Bob Guida. I have a hard time believing that DES would accept that.
Oh good, he has a $$$$$ politician $$$$$ working for him.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:37 PM   #35
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To my knowledge (I don't know him personally) Sen Guida is one of the least political, high constituent service, people in the legislature. I think he's just offering a compromise that works for all, as an "outside interest". I believe there's a lot more to this man, and hios family, than just being a politician.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:52 PM   #36
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To my knowledge (I don't know him personally) Sen Guida is one of the least political, high constituent service, people in the legislature. I think he's just offering a compromise that works for all, as an "outside interest". I believe there's a lot more to this man, and hios family, than just being a politician.
Uh huh, sure he is. Random constituent, who just circumstantially has a lot of money, violates a consent decree and his solution is to rescue the violator saving him a bunch of $$$$$.
The day I dispute a parking ticket then fail to pay the fine and good ol Bob decides to intercede on my behalf with the court suggesting the solution is for the state to remove the fine and return my quarter from the meter that ran out I will believe this isn't those with power serving those with money.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:05 PM   #37
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Uh huh, sure he is. Random constituent, who just circumstantially has a lot of money, violates a consent decree and his solution is to rescue the violator saving him a bunch of $$$$$.
The day I dispute a parking ticket then fail to pay the fine and good ol Bob decides to intercede on my behalf with the court suggesting the solution is for the state to remove the fine and return my quarter from the meter that ran out I will believe this isn't those with power serving those with money.
"who just circumstantially has a lot of money"

That makes no sense.

You have no idea of who Robert Brown is and how he earned his money as a very successful businessman. You have no idea what other Lakes Region real estate he currently owns or who his business partners are.

Bob Guida graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and after his Navy service served for many years as an FBI agent. He flies for Delta as a 777 Captain. He has started several successful businesses and he is a very accomplished individual who has earned every cent that he has.

Bob has obviously researched this matter and understands the issues involved and he has offered a solution in an effort to resolve the issue. That is called constituent service and it is what good politicians do.

You should be half as successful. Your jealousy is showing!
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:30 PM   #38
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"who just circumstantially has a lot of money"

That makes no sense.

You have no idea of who Robert Brown is and how he earned his money as a very successful businessman. You have no idea what other Lakes Region real estate he currently owns or who his business partners are.

Bob Guida graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and after his Navy service served for many years as an FBI agent. He flies for Delta as a 777 Captain. He has started several successful businesses and he is a very accomplished individual who has earned every cent that he has.

Bob has obviously researched this matter and understands the issues involved and he has offered a solution in an effort to resolve the issue. That is called constituent service and it is what good politicians do.

You should be half as successful. Your jealousy is showing!
He is supporting a rich guy, because he is wealthy, who also happens to have violated the law...twice, at least. Well, the law, at least once, and the consent decree that came as a result of his breaking the law(s). What a GREAT GUY! All should be forgiven, because...well, he's wealthy...and, well, laws should not apply to wealthy people AND if they ever do apply then a polotician will jump in and make it all better for the wonderful, wealthy, scofflaw, because as I mentioned before, he's wealthy. Thats your point right? They both have GREAT resumes, so if they abuse their wealth and power, its ok?

And really, pulling out the "Your jealousy is showing" strategy of belittling what I said probably means the truth of what I wrote stung you enough to make you regress to your playground days.

Your immaturity is showing.

2 pieces of advice...

1. Wake up.
2. Grow up.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:50 PM   #39
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Why is everyone so mean on this forum. I mean come on now. It's just a forum to discuss lake issues.


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Old 09-15-2017, 05:12 AM   #40
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He is supporting a rich guy, because he is wealthy, who also happens to have violated the law...twice, at least. Well, the law, at least once, and the consent decree that came as a result of his breaking the law(s). What a GREAT GUY! All should be forgiven, because...well, he's wealthy...and, well, laws should not apply to wealthy people AND if they ever do apply then a polotician will jump in and make it all better for the wonderful, wealthy, scofflaw, because as I mentioned before, he's wealthy. Thats your point right? They both have GREAT resumes, so if they abuse their wealth and power, its ok?

And really, pulling out the "Your jealousy is showing" strategy of belittling what I said probably means the truth of what I wrote stung you enough to make you regress to your playground days.

Your immaturity is showing.

2 pieces of advice...

1. Wake up.
2. Grow up.
You should heed your own advice. You, by far, are tops in the insult department on this forum.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:59 AM   #41
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This has nothing to do with wealth. As I stated previously: Some of the information that is out in public is just factually incorrect. Many significant facts that affect this matter are not public information. Both of the individuals mentioned are fine. successful gentlemen.

Any attempt to criticize the character of people you don't even know is totally inappropriate.

Any citizen has the right to work within the system to stand up for what he believes in and fight for what he feels is right. A politician has the right, and really the obligation, to serve his constituents as he sees fit. If the government has overreached then it is appropriate to attempt to find a resolution and mitigate the damage.

That is exactly what has happened here. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, go buy a lottery ticket and maybe some day you can own your own island on Winnipesaukee too!
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:21 AM   #42
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Any citizen has the right to work within the system to stand up for what he believes in and fight for what he feels is right. A politician has the right, and really the obligation, to serve his constituents as he sees fit.
Just stepping back and staying on the facts of this particular case--The $1,000/day fine is because the property owner refused to work within the system when he ignored the court. Also, the politician has the obligation to serve all of his constituents equally--it is truly amazing that one property owner was able to persuade 3 political leaders to help (in person!) with his home. So let's not be too surprised when that raises questions in some minds.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:43 AM   #43
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I agree that it is amazing that three political leaders have agreed to try to help Mr. Brown.

He has explained the real facts of the case to each of them individually and apparently they have seen enough merit in what he has said they they are willing to stand up for him. That is how the system should work.

I have seen and been involved with projects that require the approval of wetlands boards and conservation commissions. While some are helpful and reasonable, many over reach and have an arrogant attitude, happy to flex their muscles against the little guy.

Again, there is nothing on this island that endangers the lake in any way and isn't that what these boards are supposed to be concerned with as a primary mission?
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:33 AM   #44
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So this thread is turning into a train wreck.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:49 PM   #45
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Understood. But when they're doing the right thing, we should support them, right?
I don't know, I'll let you know when I see it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:07 PM   #46
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Financial markets just closed a few minutes ago at record highs. Time to get off this thread for the weekend. Go read your 401k statement and think about which island you want to buy.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:54 PM   #47
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Look again. In the 2005 photo the front of the house is behind the boathouse. In the current photo, the house expands past the boathouse.
Looks like the first floor is the same and the second extends over. There's a 1998 satellite photo showing the camp and it looks similar to the 2005. Looks like the foot print of the structure might be original in the photos... maybe a site inspection would prove otherwise.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:02 AM   #48
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Does anyone actually know this guy? From the stories I've heard about him he deserves the largest fines/penalties possible. Even if he might be right it's hard to take his side with his reputation around the area.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:10 AM   #49
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Does anyone actually know this guy? From the stories I've heard about him he deserves the largest fines/penalties possible. Even if he might be right it's hard to take his side with his reputation around the area.
Regardless of reputation, if he is in the right is this situation then maybe his reputation is unfounded, but if he is indeed wrong then it will just add to his "poor" reputation. I have no knowledge of his reputation but I think this needs to be played out a little more before either side is condemned
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:12 AM   #50
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I found this article interesting. Is this a case of agreeing to something only to change his mind and look to renegotiate? If so, everyone's time, money, and focus is being wasted.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:38 AM   #51
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Does anyone actually know this guy? From the stories I've heard about him he deserves the largest fines/penalties possible. Even if he might be right it's hard to take his side with his reputation around the area.
TiltonBB must know him. He seems to be the only guy on here that thinks everything he's done with that Island home is just fine.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:42 AM   #52
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Does anyone actually know this guy? From the stories I've heard about him he deserves the largest fines/penalties possible. Even if he might be right it's hard to take his side with his reputation around the area.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:38 PM   #53
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If the current owner get elected as a state representative and get a 'land grant' from the current governor. He can probably get away with it. That is how one of my neighbors get away with state and municipal rulings.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:39 AM   #54
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This story is a lot closer to the truth than previous stories and allows Robert Brown to keep the existing structure. It is sad that someone had to spend a half million dollars and end up not being found guilty of anything. It is difficult to go up against the state.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/newsx...and-settlement
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:06 AM   #55
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Seems to me he's clearly "guilty of something as he had already paid $30,000 in fines before this ruling. I dont really have an opinion on what has transpired is right or wrong but he is clearly a fighter for where he believes he stands and agreed to pay those previous fines for a reason. Also, are we to believe that he has spent well over $400,000 for his own legal fees? If so that was one expensive addition when added to the build cost. fwiw
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:26 AM   #56
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He did spend over $400,000 on his own legal fees. He knew all along that he was right and what he did was legal and correct. It says a lot about the mans character and determination that he would spend that amount of money to prove his point. If life were fair the state would be required to reimburse him for his legal expenses.

The state, even with almost unlimited resources, eventually stopped their actions and agreed to the settlement. The politicians who got involved on Robert Brown's behalf did so after hearing the whole story and understanding the facts. They would not have put their names on the line if they thought he was wrong.

From the outset, anyone who knew what the real story was would have sided with Robert Brown. His age and illnesses impeded his defense but in the end he gets to keep his house.

The greater point is that the house and any construction on the island has had no negative impact on the lake, water quality, or any neighbor. Isn't that what these laws and empowered people are supposed to be protecting?
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:37 AM   #57
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He did spend over $400,000 on his own legal fees. He knew all along that he was right and what he did was legal and correct. It says a lot about the mans character and determination that he would spend that amount of money to prove his point. If life were fair the state would be required to reimburse him for his legal expenses.



The state, even with almost unlimited resources, eventually stopped their actions and agreed to the settlement. The politicians who got involved on Robert Brown's behalf did so after hearing the whole story and understanding the facts. They would not have put their names on the line if they thought he was wrong.



From the outset, anyone who knew what the real story was would have sided with Robert Brown. His age and illnesses impeded his defense but in the end he gets to keep his house.



The greater point is that the house and any construction on the island has had no negative impact on the lake, water quality, or any neighbor. Isn't that what these laws and empowered people are supposed to be protecting?


You are correct. I’m very happy that it was settled in his favor and he keeps his home. I believe the DES was really overstating their bounds especially since there was NO environmental impact.
Congratulations to Mr Brown!!!


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Old 01-04-2018, 10:00 AM   #58
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The incompetence and corruption in government today only exists because the people allow it... those responsible for the attacks on the public under the shield of government should NOT get away with it! Names should be released of those officials that used the power of the sword and be held accountable!
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:11 AM   #59
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While I agree that government can very much overstep their bounds, let's not forget that there are many people who do so, too, affecting all of us. The current snowmobiling-trails-being-shut-down and post-Meredith-bay-fishing-derby/bobhouse threads are good examples.

My sense of things when this story first broke is that they were using this case to make a point.

Side note: there's a podcast called Outside/In about NH that has an episode about a person's fight with the government after building a dock. Pretty interesting, and I think objective, look at the situation.

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Old 01-04-2018, 10:50 AM   #60
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The incompetence and corruption in government today only exists because the people allow it... those responsible for the attacks on the public under the shield of government should NOT get away with it! Names should be released of those officials that used the power of the sword and be held accountable!
I don't see any corruption here. Nobody took a bribe or did anything hat resulted in any sort of personal gain. Names of state employees and their duties are readily available on the state website. I doubt that a public employee can be chastised for doing his job, especially when something like this goes up and down the chain of command. I don't understand the part of the story that says DES didn't take any action until four years after construction.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:30 PM   #61
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It's still clear that what he did was over the top compared to the way the rest of us are asked to respect the lake. We need for the state to enforce the rules
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:48 PM   #62
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It's still clear that what he did was over the top compared to the way the rest of us are asked to respect the lake. We need for the state to enforce the rules
Agreed. The guy incurred and paid fines so he admitted quilt on some level. If he had gone through the proper process he would have avoided this mess.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:04 PM   #63
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Just because you pay a fine doesn't necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. Based on everything I read about this matter, the home owner seems to have been under the impression that he obtained the necessary and required permits to remodel his home. Something changed after it was built. From what I can read between the lines, he fought this for a long, long time, and settled the matter by paying a fine and other "restitution" just to be done with the matter. This happens every day. Litigation is expensive, and sometimes you have to pay damages to get out of it.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:45 PM   #64
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Just because you pay a fine doesn't necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. Based on everything I read about this matter, the home owner seems to have been under the impression that he obtained the necessary and required permits to remodel his home. Something changed after it was built. From what I can read between the lines, he fought this for a long, long time, and settled the matter by paying a fine and other "restitution" just to be done with the matter. This happens every day. Litigation is expensive, and sometimes you have to pay damages to get out of it.
100% correct. Sometimes in business the best way out is a settlement to put it behind you.

He did what was best for him and took the option that represented the most economical solution. From the start, he knew he was right and what he did was correct with the proper permits. There is a long history on the lake, well before the island issue, and that had some bearing on the matter. Sometimes things are not exactly as they seem.

What he did on the island was not "over the top" and the contention that he did not go through the proper process is just plain incorrect. If he was wrong he would have been convicted of something and the state would not have waited 4 years to initiate the action they took. When codes are violated there is generally a Cease and Desist order issued as the project is in process.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:50 PM   #65
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Can someone tell me how he was able to install a septic system on the 0.18 acre island for a 3 bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths? From the pictures it looks like it is only 3 or 4 feet above the lake level. How did he pass the perk tests? How was he able to get the required permits required by the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act?
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:51 PM   #66
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Can someone tell me how he was able to install a septic system on the 0.18 acre island for a 3 bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths? From the pictures it looks like it is only 3 or 4 feet above the lake level. How did he pass the perk tests? How was he able to get the required permits required by the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act?
Holding tank maybe??....
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:10 PM   #67
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Well, we can argue no environmental impact vs following the rules wrt lakeside building until the cows come home and never agree. I for one think that the rules have to apply to all, as long as they are not being enforced too long after the fact. One should not be allowed to "buy" one's way out of noncompliance with shoreline protection and other building restrictions, or we wind up with what we had before, where builders or homeowners would do whatever they please and just add the fine to building cost. But there are always the odd, borderline cases that can be argued either way.

One thing that puzzles me is the line in the story that says as part of the agreement: “no land-based activities may take place on the boathouse roof.” How does one define such activity, and why would it in some way have some environmental impact? Would parking himself in a chair on the boathouse roof while reading the Sunday newspaper harm the lake or shoreline in some way? Was this line somehow the state's way of sneaking some "sour grapes" into having to come to agreement?
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:34 PM   #68
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Can someone tell me how he was able to install a septic system on the 0.18 acre island for a 3 bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths? From the pictures it looks like it is only 3 or 4 feet above the lake level. How did he pass the perk tests? How was he able to get the required permits required by the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act?
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Holding tank maybe??....
Correct. There is a holding tank.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:56 AM   #69
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Correct. There is a holding tank.
Thanks TiltonBB
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:22 AM   #70
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I am also trying to understand what "no land based activities" means, especially in regards to boathouse roof.
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