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Old 12-12-2020, 10:28 AM   #1
chasedawg
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Default Farm Island decision upheld

Camp Belknap petitioned the courts of 9 grounds upon which it argued that the town of Tuftonboro Planning Boards decision to approve development of Farm Island was unlawful and unreasonable. The courts ruling was upheld for the Planning Board on all nine counts.
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Old 12-12-2020, 01:47 PM   #2
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That should be that then. Now just have to hope the owners of that side of Farm don’t put a rooster on the island again next summer!

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Old 12-12-2020, 02:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roy_Hobbs View Post
That should be that then. Now just have to hope the owners of that side of Farm don’t put a rooster on the island again next summer!

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The rooster is no longer among us...
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Old 12-12-2020, 04:04 PM   #4
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Does someone have a link to that decision that they can post here? I would think it may be some interesting reading to look at.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chasedawg View Post
The rooster is no longer among us...
Has the irony of FARM Island not having a rooster been discussed here yet?
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roy_Hobbs View Post
That should be that then. Now just have to hope the owners of that side of Farm don’t put a rooster on the island again next summer!

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Was it a spite rooster?
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Old 12-12-2020, 09:01 PM   #7
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Was it a spite rooster?
Certainly how It seemed to me. I couldn’t think of any other reason for a random rooster to be there. Half of me was crazy annoyed at hearing it at 4:45 every morning. The other half tipped a cap to the eff you genius of it.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:10 AM   #8
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Default Rooster

The roosters were a funny and then welcomed prank from my great friend, Donald. Don raises pigs and chickens on the mainland. I was jokingly complaining about the noise and he just moved two rosters on Farm Island. They are now my pets and busy eating the ticks. We welcome that. Since I gave up drinking too I don't much mind the early wake up and frankly because Camp Belknap has wasted so much of my time I need to wake up at 4:45 am. I have changed 57 windows in my camp so far because unsupervised Camp Belknap kids shooting up my windows and antiques with 22 rifles.

Don and I take turns sueing Camp Belknap, documenting their lies, exploitation of the neighborhood, the land and the lake. For years Camp Belknap has had an insufficient septic system draining right into the watershed. In the town documents there is a letter from Winnie Shores substantiating this and the horrific smell and safety issues. A few years ago the sewage system was way over capacity and Seth Kassel just had the lagoon breached and poured thousands of gallons of raw sewage right into the watershed. We have photos.

Currently the camp is attempting another massive expansion without proper approval. The expansion is under appeal and has a stay order. As always the camp has acted above the law and ignored a court ordered stay with the honorable superior court. If anyone interested in the bay, the lake and the area I beg you to align with my great friend Don, my fantastic partner Cody and I to not close but to "contain" Camp Belknap.

With regards to all these lawsuits triggered by Camp Belknap please understand that the camp really doesn't sue me but sues your town. In the past year between their selfish attempt to take over Farm Island and now this massive expansion your town has been paying several lawyers. We speculate this might be heading toward 100k of your money. I suggest you ask your town. God knows they wasted more than 100k of my money.

As you should be aware Camp Belknap appealed our acquisition of Farm Island. As of this writing the bogus and now failed actions of Camp Belknap are now dead and Cody and I are ready to save the 1906 Winchester home and begin to enjoy the island with all of the Owen family and friends. Please visit Owen Outdoors to see what we are up to.

As for the Roosters they will return to the mainland for the winter in Don's chicken coop. Going forward we are discussing Christmas trees and my maple syrup equipment is already on the island. So if it's tree farming or rooster farming please feel free to critique Randy and Cody for "farming" on "farm island".
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:14 AM   #9
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Default Failed camp Belknap action

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Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
Does someone have a link to that decision that they can post here? I would think it may be some interesting reading to look at.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
CARROLL, SS. SUPERIOR COURT
YMCA Camp Belknap, Inc.
v.
Town of Tuftonboro, Tuftonboro Planning Board, and
Farm Island Acres, LLC
212-2019-CV-00209
ORDER
The plaintiff, YMCA Camp Belknap, Inc. (“Camp Belknap”), appeals the October
17, 2019, decision of the Town of Tuftonboro Planning Board (“Board”) conditionally
approving an application for a ten lot residential subdivision1 on Farm Island in
Tuftonboro, submitted by C&R NH Realty Trust, LLC (“C&R”). Camp Belknap’s appeal
of the Board’s approval, pursuant to RSA 677:15, was timely filed. The court granted
Farm Island Acres, LLC (“Farm Island Acres”) intervener status2 and conducted a
hearing on this matter on July 20, 2020. Post hearing Memorandum were submitted
through August and September, 2020. Based on review of the record, arguments of
counsel and the applicable law, the court finds and rules as follows.
The following facts are drawn from the certified record (“C.R.”) and from the
exhibits submitted at the hearing. C&R is a development company whose principals
include Cynthia Pratt and Randy Owen. The appellant, Camp Belknap, owns and
operates a summer camp on various properties in Tuftonboro, including a portion of

1 The application was originally for a twelve lot subdivision; the application was amended to comply with
zoning and subdivision regulations to comprise ten lots. (C.R. at 317.)
2 Because the positions of the intervener appear to be aligned with the positions of Tuftonboro and the
Board, they are collectively referred to as “the defendants.”
12/11/2020 9:23 AM
Carroll Superior Court
This is a Service Document For Case: 212-2019-CV-00209
2
Farm Island that abuts the proposed subdivision. Camp Belknap is described in the
certified record (“C.R.”) as having made an offer to purchase the parcel that is the
subject of this appeal. (C.R. at 317, 320.)
On June 27, 2019, C&R applied for a twelve lot subdivision on 13.58 acres on
Farm Island. The property, located in the Island Conservation District, is owned by
David, Donald and John Winchester. The lots have waterfront access to Nineteen Mile
Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. (C.R. at 1-2.)
Farm Island comprises 20.8 acres (C.R. at 21) and is mostly undeveloped. In the
1950’s, the island was subdivided into two parcels – Camp Belknap purchased a 7.5
acre parcel designated 2-2 and the Winchesters retained the remaining 13.4 acre parcel
designated 2-1.3
(C.R. at 402.) It appears no residential development has been
undertaken since the 1950s and Camp Belknap and the Winchesters currently remain
the only owners of property on the island. The principals of C&R have no prior
development experience. (Petition at 1-2.)
Due to its relatively undeveloped state, there was considerable interest in, and
concern about, the subdivision application. The Board conducted hearings on July 18,
August 1, September 5, October 3, and October 17, 2019. (C.R. at 576.) Many
individuals and organizations filed letters and/or spoke at the public hearings. The
certified record comprises 581 pages.
The Board conditionally approved the subdivision, now limited to ten lots, on
October 17, 2019 by vote of 5 to 0. (C.R. at 540.) The Notice of Decision, dated
October 24, 2019, listed fifteen conditions, including documentation of subdivision

3 There is a minor discrepancy in the acreage of parcel 2-1. The difference is not material to this appeal.
3
approval from the Attorney General,
4 septic installation that encouraged use of Clean
Solutions, Advanced Enviro-Septic or like systems, if reasonable, features to prevent
runoff during construction, adherence to erosion controls “as noted in the State
Permit(s)”, and a maintenance agreement addressing the electrical line serving the
subdivision and releasing Tuftonboro of liability regarding electrical infrastructure. (C.R.
at 576-77.) Camp Belknap brought the instant appeal, seeking judicial review of the
Board’s decision pursuant to RSA 677:15.
LEGAL STANDARD
The court’s review of planning board decisions is limited. Motorsports Holdings,
LLC v. Town of Tamworth, 160 N.H. 95, 99 (2010). “The court may reverse or affirm,
wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review when there is an error
of law or when the court is persuaded by the balance of probabilities, on the evidence
before it, that said decision is unreasonable.” RSA 677:15. The court “must treat the
factual findings of the planning board as prima facie lawful and reasonable and cannot
set aside its decision absent unreasonableness or an identified error of law.”
Motorsports Holdings, LLC, 160 N.H. at 99 (quotation omitted). The appealing party
bears the burden of proving that, by the balance of probabilities, the board’s decision
was unlawful or unreasonable. See id. The court’s role is not to determine whether it
agrees with the decision of the planning board, but to determine whether there was
evidence upon which it could have been reasonably based. Id.
ANALYSIS

4 Because the subdivision has fewer than 15 lots, counsel notified the Board it is exempt from subdivision
approval from the Office of Attorney General, pursuant to RSA 356-A:3,I(a). (C.R. at 580.)
4
In the Petition, Camp Belknap raises nine grounds5 upon which it argues that the
Board’s decision was unlawful or unreasonable: I) Farm Island is a unique, ecologically
sensitive island property that, under the balancing required by the Master Plan, should
not be developed; 2) the Board did not adequately address impacts on water quality; 3)
the Board did not adequately address potential archeological resources on the island; 4)
the Board did not adequately protect critical loon habitat on the island; 5) the Board’s
maintenance agreement regarding the electrical power line running to the island is
insufficient; 6) the Board did not adequately address fire safety and traffic concerns on
Route 109 and in the bay; and 7) the Board did not consider the risks associated with
allowing principals of C&R, who have no real estate experience, to develop such a
sensitive property. (Petition at 1-5.) Camp Belknap also states the Board did not
provide adequate due process as it had prejudged the decision and had “scripted out
the conditions it was intending to impose on the project” before deliberations took place.
(Petition at 5.) According to Camp Belknap, a decision on the subdivision was
premature, the nature and extent of its conditions were in error, and multiple issues
were overlooked or inadequately addressed. (Petition at 5.) The defendants assert that
any issues beyond those set forth in the Petition have been waived. Even if they are
considered, the defendants argue the Board’s decision was neither unlawful nor
unreasonable. They note the five public hearings, consideration of the testimony of all
who made presentations or presented reports, compliance with Tuftonboro’s regulatory
standards and Master Plan, and development of conditions adequate to protect the
island and Nineteen Mile Bay. (See generally Board’s Trial Memorandum; Farm Island

5 The Petition did not raise the issue of the intent to cut, though the issue is addressed in Camp Belknap’s
Memorandum. Because it was not raised in the Petition, the issue is waived.
5
Acres’ Memorandum.) The court considers the parties’ arguments in turn.
1. Unique, ecologically sensitive island property should not be developed
Camp Belknap asserts that while residential development is not prohibited in the
Island Conservation District of Farm Island, the area is so unique that residential
development is improper. This general statement of concern rests on the notion that
island property is sensitive and there is no other island tract in Lake Winnipesaukee of
this size that remains undeveloped. Camp Belknap finds Tuftonboro’s regulations
inadequate, as they “do not address the unique features and concerns of a potential
development on an island.” (Camp Belknap Post Hearing Memorandum, “Camp
Belknap Memorandum”, at 2.) To the extent the regulations do provide guidance, Camp
Belknap argues section 4.22 of the Subdivision Regulations addressing the character of
the land was not appropriately considered and expert opinions concerned about the
development were not properly evaluated. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 7.) Camp
Belknap further alleged in the Petition that the Master Plan’s call to balance the needs
of an applicant and the needs of the community at large would not be served by
allowing the project to proceed. It did not, however, raise this issue in its Memorandum.
The court does not find any provision in Tuftonboro’s Subdivision Regulations,
Zoning Ordinance, or Master Plan that would prohibit this development. Residential
development in the Island Conservation District is clearly authorized. Although Camp
Belknap did not appear to pursue the issue of the Master Plan, in the interest of
completeness the court will address the contention. The Master Plan speaks of
balancing of interests, but as the Supreme Court has noted, a Master Plan provides
guidance only and is not a basis to reject a subdivision or site plan application.
6
Rancourt v. Town of Barnstead, 129 N.H. 45, 49 (1986). Further, to apply a different
balancing test or impose greater regulatory standards on a subdivision because of a
general view that the property is special, even in important ways, is not permissible.
Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Town of Hanover, 171 N.H. 497, 513-514 (2018). A
board must apply the standards of the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision
Regulations and not impose its own personal sensibilities about a project if the
application otherwise complies with the municipality’s governing documents. The court
finds no evidence to conclude subdivision approval was illegal or unreasonable on the
basis the island is unique or especially sensitive.
2. Impacts on water quality of Nineteen Mile Bay
Camp Belknap asserts the Board erred when it refused to seriously consider the
impacts to water quality and rejected requests to await results of a Nineteen Mile Bay
water quality study underway. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 8-13.) Camp Belknap
notes the Lake Winnipesaukee Association (“Association”) found the subdivision would
cause a 1,636% increase in phosphorus loading in the bay which in turn would increase
the growth of algae, damage fish populations and put loons at risk. (C.R. at 46.)
Because this testimony was not refuted, according to Camp Belknap, it must be
accepted. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 8.) Camp Belknap also asserts the
Horizons Engineering (“Horizons”)6 study was legally inadequate because no water
quality testing or monitoring was done. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 6.) Further,
Camp Belknap argues the Board recognized the need for environmentally advanced
septic design but failed to mandate a particular system or type of system. (C.R. at 431-

6 The Board retained Horizons for third party engineering review of the application. (C.R. at 317.)
7
432.)
The defendants argue any claim regarding the adequacy of the Horizons study
was not raised in the Petition and thus is waived. To the extent this claim is considered,
they argue the engineering study adequately considered water quality impacts. (C.R. at
446-451.) As to the phosphorous loading projections, according to the defendants, the
conclusions of the Association were indeed refuted as to whether they were applicable
to this project. The Board questioned the use of mainland conditions in the study,
noting that roads and lawns are heavy contributors to phosphorous loading and are not
a significant feature of this island proposal. According to the defendants, Farm Island
properties are discouraged from having lawns and the lots will not create the same
phosphorous increase seen in mainland subdivisions. Horizons concluded there would
be no significant impact as there were few roads or other impervious surfaces, lawns
that contribute heavily to phosphorus loading, or beaches that disturb the shore land.
(C.R. at 405, 409.) The Board agreed and found no need to await the water quality
analysis being done. (C.R. at 431.) Regarding the septic conditions, the Board did not
mandate a particular system or type of system, as septic design is within the regulatory
purview of the Department of Environmental Services (“DES”). (C.R. at 535.)
The court does not find Camp Belknap to have waived any issues regarding
water quality and the request for the results of the water study. The Petition explicitly
identified water quality and phosphorous loading as issues and characterized the
approval process as premature and incomplete.
On the merits of its argument, however, the court does not find the Board’s
decisions regarding water quality to have been unreasonable. The Board considered
8
and found the phosphorous loading projections not applicable, as they relied on
assumptions appropriate for mainland subdivisions and not island development. (C.R. at
431.) While Camp Belknap is correct that the phosphorous projections submitted by the
Association were not countered with an alternate percentage, it is not accurate to say
the Association data must be accepted. The Board’s clear findings were that the
assumptions were flawed and the results inapplicable to this project. (C.R. at 431.)
Regarding septic systems, DES is responsible for approval of the specific septic design.
The Board encouraged state of the art systems, if approved by DES (C.R. at 535) and
C&R’s engineering consultant appears to have committed to this type of system. (C.R.
at 4.) As a Board member stated, the Board would “be in trouble” if it were to mandate
use of a particular design rather than leaving that to DES. (C.R. at 535.) The Board
was more concerned with potential water quality impacts during the construction phase
and established conditions to minimize those risks. (C.R. at 536.) The court finds no
evidence to conclude the subdivision approval was illegal or unreasonable on the basis
it would cause a significant degradation of water quality.
3. Impact on archeological resources
Camp Belknap asserts the Board’s approval was unreasonable and illegal as the
property has historic significance. Despite 19th and early 20th century stone walls, and
potentially pre-contact Native American and post-contact European American
archeological artifacts, the Board failed to perform an archeological review. (Petition at
3.) Camp Belknap retained Victoria Bunker, Inc., to assess Camp Belknap’s portion of
the island. (See generally C.R. at 167-181.) She described how the island had been
connected by a natural land bridge that disappeared when the lake level increased by
9
three to five feet, after the Lakeport dam was built. (C.R. at 170.) Bunker found Farm
Island to be a “valuable resource for archeological sites” (C.R. at 168) and located stone
walls and other late 19th and early 20th century artifacts on the Camp Belknap portion of
the island. She concluded the island could be eligible for placement on the National
Register of Historic Places. (C.R. at 81, 88, 160-161.) Camp Belknap argued that
because its portion of the island had stone walls and might have pre-contact and postcontact artifacts, the Board should have required a similar archeological study of parcel
2-1. Camp Belknap asserts the Board failed to include any of these issues in its
deliberations. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 19.)
The defendants note that nothing in the Bunker report identifies actual
archeological artifacts, but rather that such might potentially be present. (C.R. at 171,
175.) They argue that Camp Belknap cites no local, state, or federal regulations that
address development in areas with potential but not identified archeological resources.
(Farm Island Acres Memorandum at 7.)
The court has reviewed the Bunker report regarding archeological conditions.
Bunker noted no pre-contact archeological finds present on Camp Belknap’s parcel and
only speculated such might be found on parcel 2-1. According to Bunker, “while no precontact Native American archeological sites have been previously recorded for the
island, the island exhibits the potential for North American archeological site occurrence
in both terrestrial and submerged contexts.” Camp Belknap is correct that the Board’s
deliberations did not address the Bunker report. The defendants are correct that Camp
Belknap has cited no provisions in Tuftonboro’s governing documents, state or federal
law that would prohibit development when there is a potential for archeological artifacts
10
but no identified resources. The potential for being placed on the state or national
registry was described to the Board, but Camp Belknap has not asserted that such
designations, if they were to occur, would prohibit or limit development. The court
cannot impose burdens on a municipality or create mandates were none exists. The
fact that Bunker’s report of a mere possibility of archeological resources was not
discussed by the Board does not, in the court’s view, invalidate its approval. The court
finds no evidence to conclude the subdivision approval was illegal or unreasonable on
the basis the property potentially has archeological significance.
4. Impact on critical loon habitats
Camp Belknap states the Board’s approval was illegal or unreasonable as it
disregarded the impact to the habitats of loons and other sensitive species. It notes the
importance of nesting pairs and need to rebuild the population of loons on Lake
Winnipesaukee. The New Hampshire National Heritage Bureau, the Loon Preservation
Committee, and the Association expressed concern about development impact on
sensitive species, including loons and eagles, particularly in light of the Association’s
projections for phosphorous loading. (Camp Belknap Memorandum at 3.)
The defendants clarify that neither the Loon Preservation Society nor New
Hampshire Fish and Game found active loon nesting sites on the island or indication of
nesting pairs from the recent past. (C.R. at 44, 87.) Of the two potential nesting sites,
according to Fish and Game, one was on Camp Belknap’s shoreline where campers
regularly enter the water with canoes and kayaks, and one was in a wetland within the
subdivision property. (C.R. at 319, 522 sheet 2.) As a wetland it cannot be developed.
Fish and Game found no evidence of eagle nesting on the island. (C.R. at 234.)
11
The court finds the record demonstrates no current nesting loon pairs, and no
recent history of loons nesting around the island. The potential nesting site on parcel
2-1 is within a wetland already protected from development, for reasons unrelated to
this subdivision application. Fish and Game found no evidence of eagle nesting. The
Board noted adjustments made to provide buffers if loons were present. (C.R. at 534.)
The court finds no requirement that the Board should have prohibited or further
restricted development under these conditions. The court cannot conclude the Board’s
approval was illegal or unreasonable on the basis the subdivision would disturb habitats
of loons or other sensitive species.
5. Maintenance agreement for electrical line
Camp Belknap asserts the provisions for the 40-year-old electrical power line
running to the island do not adequately protect Camp Belknap, the Town, or the
property owner where the line enters the Lake. The Board heard concerns the line is
aging (C.R. at 88, 90, 267, 269, 462) and yet Horizons failed to review the functionality
or capacity of the line. (C.R. at 412.) The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
(“NHEC”), owner of the line, will not guarantee the line’s longevity or serviceability.
(C.R. at 309.) The agreement between the Town and NHEC provides for maintenance
but does not address potential replacement or expansion of the line. (C.R. at 537.)
These were issues raised in hearings (C.R. at 88, 90) but, according to Camp Belknap,
not adequately addressed by the Board. Camp Belknap also raises questions about the
impact on the shoreline where the line enters the Lake (C.R. at 267, 269, 529) and
safety concerns due to the proximity of campers, kayaks, and canoes. (C.R. at 462.)
Camp Belknap also states the Board has not taken appropriate steps to protect
12
landowner Craig Starble.
The defendants note the Board’s third party engineer Horizons reviewed the
application and documents from NHEC. (C.R. at 412.) The defendants find no mandate
in its governing regulations for the Board to have further addressed the potential
problems Camp Belknap raises regarding the line. With no such mandate, the
defendants argue that to deny on the basis of these concerns would be an ad hoc
analysis prohibited by Dartmouth Trustees, 171 N.H. at 508. Finally, the defendants
argue Camp Belknap did not raise in its petition the assertion that the Board should
have required testing of the functionality of the line therefore the issue is waived.
The electrical line agreement is a delineation of responsibility and liability
between Tuftonboro and the electric utility, NHEC. The agreement does not address
obligations to expand or replace the line. The Board noted the NHEC had ‘tested the
line because it had been out of service for a period of time and was comfortable that it is
serviceable as it stands today to be energized.” (C.R. at 537.) The Board also noted
that there was no proposal to relocate the line, which was already operational. (C.R. at
537.) Whether the Board should have required its own testing of the functionality of the
line was not raised in the Petition and thus is waived. As to the concerns of Craig
Starble, the Board is not empowered to negotiate on behalf of a landowner. If Mr.
Starble seeks an agreement with NHEC, he should negotiate directly. The court finds
no evidence to conclude the subdivision approval was illegal or unreasonable on the
basis the electric line provisions are inadequate.
6. Impact on traffic and other safety concerns
Camp Belknap argues the Board erred when it refused to require a traffic study
13
to consider the impacts of these ten lot owners and their guests on Route 109 and
Nineteen Mile Bay. (C.R. at 89-90, 267-68, 320-21.) It asserts it was unreasonable for
the Board to refuse, given the concerns raised in public hearings and the lack of traffic
analysis in the Horizons study. (Petition at 4.) Finally, Camp Belknap asserts the Board
did not adequately address fire safety concerns, in that the Fire Department never
stated it was satisfied with plans for fire safety within the subdivision. (Petition at 4.)
The defendants argue that the issue of a traffic study was not raised in the
Petition and thus is waived. If the issue were to be considered by the court, the
defendants assert the Board fully considered the potential traffic impacts on both Route
109 at its public hearings and in deliberations and found no appreciable increase in
traffic. (C.R. at 429, 532-33.) The Board noted a 23 lot subdivision previously approved
in Tuftonboro without need for a traffic study and stated this ten lot subdivision did not
pose significant concerns. (C.R. at 430.) On fire safety, the defendants note that the
Fire Chief reviewed the application and signed off on it, with recommendations. (C.R. at
542.)
The court finds the Petition specifically identified traffic concerns and the Board’s
decision not to order a traffic study. Therefore, these issues are not waived. The court
disagrees with Camp Belknap, however, that these issues were inadequately
addressed. The Board stated this application had been scrutinized more than any other
in recent memory. As one Board member put it, the “Board has heard it all in the last
five meetings; every question, every subject, everything has been brought up.” (C.R. at
533.) The Board found this ten lot subdivision to have no appreciate increase in traffic
and did not warrant a traffic study. (C.R. at 430, 537-38.) It noted a far larger
14
subdivision that did not require a traffic study. (C.R. at 430.) The court finds no
evidence to conclude the subdivision approval was illegal or unreasonable on the basis
of traffic impacts.
Regarding fire safety, the record is clear that the Fire Chief has reviewed the
subdivision application and stated the lots would be served by the Fire Boat. He made
recommendations but noted explicitly the recommendations “do not affect approval.”
(C.R. at 542.) The court finds no evidence to conclude the subdivision approval was
illegal or unreasonable on the basis of fire safety.
7. Developers’ lack of experience
Although lack of experience was raised in the Petition, Camp Belknap’s
Memorandum does not address this issue. It should be noted that some members of
the public alleged one of the developers had an unsavory business reputation and had
had financial problems in a prior business. Camp Belknap did not advance these
arguments.
The defendants argue there are no requirements in the Tuftonboro regulations
that an applicant have prior development experience or to impose greater restrictions on
those without prior experience. The Board is compelled to treat all applicants fairly and
uniformly, they argue.
The court agrees that there is no experience threshold required for development
and the Board would be without authority to impose greater limits on a new developer
than on an experienced one. The court finds no evidence to conclude the subdivision
approval was illegal or unreasonable on the basis the applicant had not previously
developed a subdivision.
15
8. Proposed Conditions on Approval
Camp Belknap argues the Board prejudged its decision with conditions already
written before the final deliberation session. The defendants argue this issue was not
identified in the Petition and thus has been waived. The court agrees with the
defendants that the issue was not raised and thus is waived. Even if not waived, the
court does not find having a list of conditions to be imposed in the event of an approval
to be impermissible. Municipal boards often move from deliberations to compilation of
final conditions without need to adjourn, reschedule and notice a new meeting. Having
a list of conditions prepared to discuss, if the Board votes to approve, does not render
the approval illegal. The court finds no evidence to conclude the subdivision approval
was illegal or unreasonable on the basis the Board turned to a list of conditions to
impose after it deliberated and voted to approve the subdivision application.
9. Premature Approval
Finally7
, Camp Belknap argues the Board’s approval was illegal and
unreasonable because its decision was premature. (Petition at 5.) Camp Belknap
asserts that because this is the island's first residential development in approximately 50
years and the parcel of undeveloped land is so large, more time was needed. It asserts
Horizons’ review was not sufficient in that Horizons did not perform its own calculations
regarding lot dimensions and relied on the representations of the developers. (Camp
Belknap Memorandum at 6.) Camp Belknap argues development of a parcel of such
character should not be rushed and there was no need to act on the application before

7Camp Belknap asserts the Board failed to adequately limit timber cutting and by doing so violated
section 4.2.4 of the Tuftonboro Subdivision Regulations addressing preservation of natural resources.
This issue was not raised in the Petition and thus is waived.
16
a traffic study was done, further water study results were received, and other open
questions resolved. (See generally Camp Belknap Memorandum.)
The defendants argue these issues have been waived because they were not
included in the Petition. If considered, they assert the application was thoroughly
evaluated and issues of concern were addressed. (See generally Farm Acres Island
Memorandum.)
The court agrees in part and disagrees in part. The general assertion that the
approval was premature is clearly raised. (Petition at 5.) The Petition argues a traffic
study should have been done and the Board should have considered broader issues of
water quality. The specific and very particular complaint about Horizons not doing its
own calculations, however, was not raised in the Petition and is waived.
On the issues that have not been waived, the court disagrees with Camp
Belknap that the decision was made prematurely. The Board conducted five public
hearings, considered letters and testimony of numerous interested parties. The certified
record is 581 pages long. The Board publicly deliberated on the matters before it and
issued a written decision. While it did not call for a traffic study or agree to wait for the
results of another water study, it addressed its reasons why it did not find such further
data necessary, a determination the court finds supported in the record. The argument
that this project should receive greater scrutiny or be given a balancing test that
otherwise would not apply is not supported in the law. The Board Chairman stated, “this
application is probably the most heavily reviewed thirteen acres in the Town of
Tuftonboro.” (C.R. at 535.) The court finds no evidence to conclude the Board’s
approval was illegal or unreasonable on the basis that it was made prematurely or
17
without a complete record.
CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, the unanimous decision of the Tuftonboro Planning
Board is AFFIRMED.
So Ordered.
December 4, 2020
Amy L. Ignatius
Presiding Justice
10
on
Document Sent to Parties
Clerk's Notice of Decision
12/11/2020
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:35 PM   #10
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... I have changed 57 windows in my camp so far because unsupervised Camp Belknap kids shooting up my windows and antiques with 22 rifles. ...
C'mon ... please. This is outright BS. Just accept your 'win' and start ruining the island, alright? Unbelievable.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:19 AM   #11
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Randy could you gloat just a little more? If this is the way you do business good luck to you.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:44 AM   #12
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Randy could you gloat just a little more? If this is the way you do business good luck to you.
https://owens-marine.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
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Old 12-15-2020, 02:51 PM   #13
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https://owens-marine.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

Strange, this website says business closed.....but yet there’s a building that’s been going up almost forever down in Hooksett that has Owens signature boat scrap heap outside. Maybe Farm Island will the new home of the marine business.
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Old 12-15-2020, 04:29 PM   #14
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https://owens-marine.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

Strange, this website says business closed.....but yet there’s a building that’s been going up almost forever down in Hooksett that has Owens signature boat scrap heap outside. Maybe Farm Island will the new home of the marine business.
https://www.facebook.com/watersnowan...=page_internal
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Old 12-15-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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Thumbs down Shenanigans

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I have changed 57 windows in my camp so far because unsupervised Camp Belknap kids shooting up my windows and antiques with 22 rifles. .
I call shenanigans. I attended Camp Belknap for years. No kid with a .22 is ever unsupervised. The rifle range is nowhere near the water, either.
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Old 12-15-2020, 05:56 PM   #16
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I call shenanigans. I attended Camp Belknap for years. No kid with a .22 is ever unsupervised. The rifle range is nowhere near the water, either.
I second the quote, CB 1952 to 1959 rifle range didn't face that direction and safety/security was tight. Looked at Owens Outdoors videos and those bullet holes in the window appeared to be of a larger caliber weapon. It didn't happen this year because CB was closed for the Summer because of Covid-19.
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Old 12-16-2020, 10:02 AM   #17
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I second the quote, CB 1952 to 1959 rifle range didn't face that direction and safety/security was tight. Looked at Owens Outdoors videos and those bullet holes in the window appeared to be of a larger caliber weapon. It didn't happen this year because CB was closed for the Summer because of Covid-19.

Exactly. I was there 70 to 77, brother was there ~75 to ~80s, and both sons attended well into 2000s. NO opportunity for any unsafe rifle handling. None. Pure BS. And, yes, Camp was closed this year due to pandemic.
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Old 12-16-2020, 10:25 AM   #18
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I second the quote, CB 1952 to 1959 rifle range didn't face that direction and safety/security was tight. Looked at Owens Outdoors videos and those bullet holes in the window appeared to be of a larger caliber weapon. It didn't happen this year because CB was closed for the Summer because of Covid-19.
They probably came from one of his many "fans".
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Old 12-16-2020, 06:17 PM   #19
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Ha. I can tell you this. There were no kids in the camp last year. The year before that the pistol range at the camp was closed as it was decided improvements were needed. I believe it was rebuilt this fall. I would think a rational man would realize that for the camp to operate a pistol range there is a fair amount of liability associated with kids shooting. That in mind do you seriously think the operators of the camp allowed kids to check guns out, take them in canoes and paddle to your island to shoot out your windows? Give me break. That is ridiculous.............
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:39 AM   #20
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I'm actually surprised they are kids going to camp being exposed to any kind of firearms. I thought these camps are more interested now in social engineering, and guns ain't part of that equation.
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #21
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I'm actually surprised they are kids going to camp being exposed to any kind of firearms. I thought these camps are more interested now in social engineering, and guns ain't part of that equation.
Actually, it's the reverse. Before the NRA was primarily a political organization, its focus was on supporting sportsmen and education for kids. I remember NRA-sponsored programs fondly from when I was a camper. Whatever you might think about the NRA today, it's pretty clear that their focus is now much closer to social (political) engineering than it was decades ago. The camps aren't all that much different
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:33 PM   #22
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Please visit Owen Outdoors to see what we are up to.
Please provide a link, googling such gives to many unrelated results.
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Old 12-17-2020, 09:19 PM   #23
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Question NRA Targets vs. NEA "Targeting"

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I'm actually surprised they are kids going to camp being exposed to any kind of firearms. I thought these camps are more interested now in social engineering, and guns ain't part of that equation.
At a summer camp on Winter Harbor, I achieved NRA "Sharpshooter" status.

Four years of woolen NRA patches were also stitched onto my uniform jacket. Let's see, am I leaving one out? Pro-Marksman, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert. Was it eight "gold stars" at Sharpshooter to achieve Expert?

Anyway, the same rifle used at summer camp was the same caliber and manufacturer which I qualified with at U. S. Navy boot camp—Great Lakes, Illinois: 22LR Harrington & Richardson model 190.

In Florida, High School students transported rifles and shotguns in their vehicles in afternoon combat against the feral hogs that were ruining Clay County cropland.

But this was The South.

Up north, debate was burgeoning as to what bathroom to use!
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:25 PM   #24
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Another patch was MARKSMAN 1st. CL, and the Expert full name was EXPERT RIFLEMAN. All five 3" diameter patches also said 50 FT in the center of the patch so it read 50 FT with two crossed rifles in the center, and NAT'L RIFLE ASS'N and AWARD.

MARKSMAN, PRO-MARKSMAN, MARKSMAN 1st CL., SHARPSHOOTER, and EXPERT RIFLEMAN were the full set and made in varying colors.

For $29.99, shipping included, you can buy a set of all five patches in "pre owned vintage" condition from someone in Asheville, NC on ebay.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:44 PM   #25
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I'm actually surprised they are kids going to camp being exposed to any kind of firearms. I thought these camps are more interested now in social engineering, and guns ain't part of that equation
Apparently, you never went to summer camp. Riflery is/was pretty standard.
I went to a dude ranch in WY a few years ago that advertised, among other things, a rifle range. I asked an d they pointed. WShen I got there, arifle and a box of ammo was there. Help yourself.
Hmmm. First exposure was to BB guns was at Camp Belknap. At an older age, .22 caliber. Highly structured safety protocols. Got a Marksman Ribbon in the Navy (.45 caliber) although we learned safety protocols on many different guns.
As a kid, many schools had riflery clubs and Jr. ROTC. Boy Scouts had parallel programs. And most kids learned hunter safety.
This BS about no guns is pretty recent and only comes from ignorance and inexperience.
Last year, for Father's Day, my son and I went to a shooting event with automatic rifles, 12,000 rounds, $20 a turn, as a fund raiser. Hundreds of participants.
I'm not a gun nut, or an anti-gun freak, it's a sport, like many others. Probably safer than many others, but unfortunately, subject to misguided PR in recent times.
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:14 AM   #26
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I think every Boy Scout camp in America has riflery. Even Cub Scout camps have BBs and archery.

From what I see in America, most people want sensible policies, not to ban guns outright. But, as usual, the message gets distorted.

In any case, there's no way I buy the OP replacing 52 windows because kids shot them out—we've seen enough posts, and he's got enough online history, to know his game.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Winnipesaukee Forum mobile app
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Old 12-22-2020, 05:22 PM   #27
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They probably came from one of his many "fans".
Anything said in my videos regarding the theft and damages on farm island was directly from the Winchester family who owned it since 1905. I spoke with them at length after the closing of the property. I was told many of the issues of damages/theft happened after they subdivided the property and sold to Camp Belknap in 2010. Whether this was happening from camp goers or other trespassers I do not know. The bullet holes many have said it fits the description of what the camp uses. I do not care either way and simply want the property to no longer be vandalized. There is animals and pets on the island now and we do not want anyone to get hurt. If you had bullet holes on your property you would be just as concerned. There were around 53 window panels replaced this year and we experienced 1 new window being vandalized. A rock was thrown into the house during the week when we were not present. A trail camera did catch 3 teenagers roaming the property that week, but did not cover the angle of the damage taking place. I do have viewers in NH (.02%), but majority are spread across the world. If future damages take place I will be considering this very possibility, but as I stated above all damages of the property happened before we owned it.

I also agree very much with the comments regarding the roosters. It is a tough sell to be upset at animal noise when you moved near an island called Farm Island. We do plan on having more animals on the island, but they will not be as noisy.
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Old 12-23-2020, 01:23 AM   #28
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Bemused to say the least. Though reasonable thought is apparent accuracy is compromised at best. So let me state the facts:

Owen Marine, LLC is in its new building in Hooksett
Covid-19 delayed final bank lending, slowing construction and now my bank has restarted lending the building is up and running.
I am proud to report I built the new building myself with my employees and a fantastic group of subcontractors.
Evinrude is changing their outboards as we know them and I suggest you google “Evinrude give up the ghost”
We remain a full line Evinrude dealer and will continue monitoring the future with ghost
Owen Marine, LLC just engaged with Honda Marine and will sell Honda full line
Owen Marine, LLC and Farm Island will have no connection other than our own personal race boats, fishing boats, ATVS, hovercraft and snowmobiles.
We have no intention of ruining Farm Island. Farm Island will be the Owen compound for my children, my fantastic partner Cody Owen, his children (when he gets that all going on) and perhaps many future generations. Hell the Winchester ran with it from 1905 till 2020. Hopefully the Owen family can enjoy this too. Please watch Owen Outdoors to keep you updated with our fun
The 1906 six bedroom Winchester cottage will be restored with limited updates to protect the 1906 “feel”. (but yes just maybe a flush toilet)
Tension between the owners of Farm Island and Camp Belknap began long before the Owen family purchased Farm Island
Both the Winchester family and the Owen family have been lied to and exploited by Camp Belknap and especially Seth Kassels
The mainland families too are lied to and exploited by Camp Belknap as well
Information of camp mischief around Farm Island while the Winchester family owned the island is supported with direct information from former camp counselors and disgruntled former employees.
Camp counsellors did break into the camp with the young campers and ignored the private property signage.
All damage to the camp occurred prior to the Owen family acquisition to of Farm Island
The Owen family has cameras monitoring everything that is going on around the camp and on the rest island
Seth Kassels does lie continually and has covered up huge issues of direct lake pollution and medical issues with the campers
Under the directions of Seth Kassels the camp cut a lagoon with an excavator and discharged thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the lake watershed and ultimately into the lake (we have the pictures)
Seth Kassels designed and used a illegal sewage transfer/storage system and it discharge thousand of gallons of raw sewage in a different incident
This triggered huge algae blooms and illnesses with the campers
The sewage discharge went right through the Winnie Shores as supported with the winnie shores letter in town records
As abutters we have confirmed the use of recreational drugs by the councilors
Seth Kassels refuses to have the counselors drug tested and we feel this issue and guns is a poor risk
The Camp has a superior court certiorari order not to proceed with construction on the mainland and has ignored it
The camp has lied to the abutters and stated it built structures in 1960 to perfect a lie of a grandfathered action when it didn’t even own the property until 13 years later.
Many other Tuftonboro town records with Camp Belknap are riddled with lies.
On January 6th the Camp will answer to the Honorable Superior Court Judge Amy L. Ignatius as to why they ignored her certiorari order and once again acted above the law. The actions of engaging in full construction while ignoring a court ordered stay are likely to trigger a charge of contempt and require conservation land to be restored to its original undisturbed status.

Please understand it is not my wish to shut down Camp Belknap but to contain it reasonably. The Camp is expanding and increasing a non conforming use with excessive boats, noise and pollution. We are perfectly willing to accept the existing non conforming use but no expansion.

I do think Camp Belknap, our neighborhood and the campers themselves greatest disservice is with its current director Seth Kassels. I had direct business interaction with the prior camp director Mr. Gene Clark. Gene was a perfect gentleman and completed his part of every aspect of our contractual agreement flawlessly. Seth Kassels is a pathological liar.
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Old 12-23-2020, 09:18 AM   #29
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Arrow Good fences make good neighbors

Good fences make good neighbors ...... is the last line in a famous poem from 1914 written by NH poet, Robert Frost.

With 20.5-acre Farm Island in Tuftonboro divided up with 7.5-acres-Camp Belknap, and 13-acres-Randy Owen it seems like a plain white, 18" high, open picket fence dividing the island could help to make for good neighbors.

Maybe the two island owners could agree to share the cost of a new, 18" white picket fence as well? .....
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Old 12-23-2020, 01:15 PM   #30
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Bemused to say the least. Though reasonable thought is apparent accuracy is compromised at best. So let me state the facts:
My favorite Randy Owen fact is that at a time when then is so much partisan rancor, both nationally and on our generally friendly forum, your posts on Camp Belknap have given all of us--Democrats and Republicans alike--something that the rest of us can all agree upon. It's the magic of Christmas!
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:29 PM   #31
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Good fences make good neighbors ...... is the last line in a famous poem from 1914 written by NH poet, Robert Frost.

With 20.5-acre Farm Island in Tuftonboro divided up with 7.5-acres-Camp Belknap, and 13-acres-Randy Owen it seems like a plain white, 18" high, open picket fence dividing the island could help to make for good neighbors.

Maybe the two island owners could agree to share the cost of a new, 18" white picket fence as well? .....
Presently the camp has already decorated the property line with ugly no trespassing signs. The Winchesters had posted only the house and the councilors and campers would cross the property line enter the house as they pleased. Perhaps the advice of Robert Frost is prudent. Thank you
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:38 PM   #32
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My favorite Randy Owen fact is that at a time when then is so much partisan rancor, both nationally and on our generally friendly forum, your posts on Camp Belknap have given all of us--Democrats and Republicans alike--something that the rest of us can all agree upon. It's the magic of Christmas!
Please tell me about Flying Scot. As a collector of old boats and motors and too funny that we are speaking about an island on the lake where I grew up this is what we thought of when we heard "Flying Scot".

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/446841...autologin=true

Today a very collectable motor and one I would love in my collection.
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:53 PM   #33
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I'm not sure Randy will be happy until he owns the entire island, that seems to be his goal. The sad part is its the kids that will suffer.
the kids need not suffer at all. the camp has tons of land and opportunity without exploiting the neighbors. Farm Island is zoned low density residential. we will go forward without exception to that.

i too was a "kid" on winnie. my dad built a modest house on cow island where we enjoyed and loved the lake. my opportunity with the lake is one where it included an unmatched family bond. at 35 years old it still was what are we doing this weekend DAD. there is a whole other lake life and opportunity with a family bond that will continue with the Owen family. our kids and their friends will enjoy Farm Island without compromise
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:54 PM   #34
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Please tell me about Flying Scot. As a collector of old boats and motors and too funny that we are speaking about an island on the lake where I grew up this is what we thought of when we heard "Flying Scot".

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/446841...autologin=true

Today a very collectable motor and one I would love in my collection.
Not quite as collectible as that beautiful motor, but still a classic and perfect for sailing off of Farm Island

https://flyingscot.com/
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Old 12-23-2020, 10:02 PM   #35
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Not quite as collectible as that beautiful motor, but still a classic and perfect for sailing off of Farm Island

https://flyingscot.com/
i googled the motor and found the sail boats too. in the first page of that link a home is in the back ground. the six bedroom winchester home isn't quite all that.. haha. it does however offer a trip back in time. the ice house and ice box remain. the period furniture is all there and very interesting. if ever you would like a tour to island life "the way it was" swing on over... or better yet sale on over this spring.

till then
Merry Christmas
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Old 12-23-2020, 10:10 PM   #36
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:10 PM   #37
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:22 PM   #38
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So here is my question.... Will the Roosters return to Farm Island next summer....
Although I am sure they didn't have many fans.... it was a nice surprise to hear them one morning.... and then actually be able to see them running around on the island.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:10 PM   #39
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Hoping not. A touch irritating................
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:42 AM   #40
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Hey Randy, is there a TimberKing-1600 portable saw mill coming to Farm Island in the Spring-2021 to slice up some of the many tall pine trees into usable lumber?

Maybe use it for building that Farm Island fence, an umpteen foot long white picket fence, 18"-high, dividing Farm Island into a "Good fences make good neighbors." type of an island.

For about $18/gal, Walmart has excellent Glidden exterior flat white paint that lasts fifteen years when painted over an exterior primer. Using it on a fence made with green lumber seems just perfect for that olde rustic Farm Island look. Here in NH-2021 you can easily find a real NH painter for just $7.25/hour that will paint it like it was his/her own fence!
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Old 01-05-2021, 05:48 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
So here is my question.... Will the Roosters return to Farm Island next summer....
Although I am sure they didn't have many fans.... it was a nice surprise to hear them one morning.... and then actually be able to see them running around on the island.
Oh, there is at least one or two roosters still there... every morning at 5am sharp.
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Old 01-05-2021, 11:30 PM   #42
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I'm a grandfather. Mel has 7 baby chicks....... He's been enjoying himself on the mainland with the hens

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Old 02-16-2021, 02:07 PM   #43
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Default local and state law tuftonboro nh

Ask not what your town can do for you but what you can do for your town.
You might ask, where is the parity? What I can do for my town is simply ask it to follow state law, local zoning ordinances and stop engaging in unnecessary court actions. For the good of the town and protection of the taxpayer’s money; the Selectmen should enforce zoning ordinances equally or not at all.
State laws and court orders are for our protection. In our town a Superior Court Judge has issued a Stay Order and a Certiorari Order. The case involves Camp Belknap and an abutor whose property is going to be seriously devalued by commercial expansion in a low density residentially zoned area. Our concern today however, is NOT WITH THE MERITS, yet it is with our town NOT RESPECTING STATE LAW, LOCAL ZONING ORDINANCES AND A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.
The Judge issued a Certiorari Order dated 9/30/20 (212-2020-cv 00157). Camp Belknap and our town selectman ignored the order and began commercial construction/expansion in a residential zone. Camp Belknap filed a motion for clarification of the Stay Order WHILE IT CONTINUED COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION IN A LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL AREA. On January 7, 2021 the judge simply reaffirmed the meaning of state law and reinforced the order (no construction). On February 1, 2021, less than 30 days from the Superior Courts clarification of state laws and order, Camp Belknap again ignored the Superior Court Judge and asked the town for permission to break the law and our town Selectmen and signed a memorandum of understanding that supports the opportunity for Camp Belknap to ignore a SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE again.
For the record I am a tax payer in Tuftonboro and the happy owner of Farm Island with my partner and nephew who is also delighted with our purchase. Please know Camp Belknap pays zero property taxes to our town, avails themselves of town services, makes millions of dollars and allows the taxpayers to subsidize their existence. They told terrible lies about me to damage my reputation and completely falsified my families plans for Farm Island. With no regard for town taxpayers money they complicated/delayed my plans for the Owen family enjoyment of Farm Island. The camp triggered tens of thousands of dollars of wasted taxpayer monies for their benefit. They frankly tried to bankrupt me by triggering bogus actions all to spend my money and your money. Now they are doing the same thing on the mainland, ignoring state laws and town ordinances, spending more of your tax dollars while paying NOTHING!! We are confident that you, the Tuftonboro tax payer, have paid well over $100,000.00 dollars in legal fees over the past two years, for their frivolous lawsuits.
Make no mistake, we have no mission to kill Camp Belknap, but only ask them and the Town of Tuftonboro to simple respect the law and be considerate of their neighbors rights.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:10 PM   #44
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Default local and state law tuftonboro nh

Ask not what your town can do for you but what you can do for your town.
You might ask, where is the parity? What I can do for my town is simply ask it to follow state law, local zoning ordinances and stop engaging in unnecessary court actions. For the good of the town and protection of the taxpayer’s money; the Selectmen should enforce zoning ordinances equally or not at all.
State laws and court orders are for our protection. In our town a Superior Court Judge has issued a Stay Order and a Certiorari Order. The case involves Camp Belknap and an abutor whose property is going to be seriously devalued by commercial expansion in a low density residentially zoned area. Our concern today however, is NOT WITH THE MERITS, yet it is with our town NOT RESPECTING STATE LAW, LOCAL ZONING ORDINANCES AND A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.
The Judge issued a Certiorari Order dated 9/30/20 (212-2020-cv 00157). Camp Belknap and our town selectman ignored the order and began commercial construction/expansion in a residential zone. Camp Belknap filed a motion for clarification of the Stay Order WHILE IT CONTINUED COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION IN A LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL AREA. On January 7, 2021 the judge simply reaffirmed the meaning of state law and reinforced the order (no construction). On February 1, 2021, less than 30 days from the Superior Courts clarification of state laws and order, Camp Belknap again ignored the Superior Court Judge and asked the town for permission to break the law and our town Selectmen and signed a memorandum of understanding that supports the opportunity for Camp Belknap to ignore a SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE again.
For the record I am a tax payer in Tuftonboro and the happy owner of Farm Island with my partner and nephew who is also delighted with our purchase. Please know Camp Belknap pays zero property taxes to our town, avails themselves of town services, makes millions of dollars and allows the taxpayers to subsidize their existence. They told terrible lies about me to damage my reputation and completely falsified my families plans for Farm Island. With no regard for town taxpayers money they complicated/delayed my plans for the Owen family enjoyment of Farm Island. The camp triggered tens of thousands of dollars of wasted taxpayer monies for their benefit. They frankly tried to bankrupt me by triggering bogus actions all to spend my money and your money. Now they are doing the same thing on the mainland, ignoring state laws and town ordinances, spending more of your tax dollars while paying NOTHING!! We are confident that you, the Tuftonboro tax payer, have paid well over $100,000.00 dollars in legal fees over the past two years, for their frivolous lawsuits.
Make no mistake, we have no mission to kill Camp Belknap, but only ask them and the Town of Tuftonboro to simple respect the law and be considerate of their neighbors rights.
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:01 PM   #45
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Randy,

You may want to write a letter to local papers such as Laconia Daily Sun. Get the word out.

We have similar issues with Laconia selectmen, namely ignoring the Right to Know Law. Getting the word out is a good grass-roots effort to stir the pot.

Camp properties unfortunately are the number one hot items among realtors/developers. Greed will get them to ignore many rules and regulations that are supposed to protect the town and neighbors. Google problems that crop up when developing camp properties. It's not a pretty picture.

Towns with a lakefront property only think of tax revenues, not what good for the town or community. Case in point in Laconia, there were promises that South Down Farm development will lower taxes for the city folks. A pitch promised by the developers. It never happened, taxes went up because the city had to increase the infrastructure to support the development.
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:13 PM   #46
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Default South Down infrastructure

Broadhopper--in your brief summary, it sounds like Laconia was subject to self-inflicted wounds if they had to pay out sums to accommodate South Down's infrastructure needs. Most cities/towns would require the developer to improve infrastructure to meet the needs of their development, or scale back the development.
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:21 PM   #47
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Default Camp Belknap Commercial Construction?

Randy Owen--What kind of commercial construction would be underway without Planning Board site plan review and approval?, Maybe ZBA approval? Building permits? State permits for Dredge & Fill, wetlands mitigation, alteration of terrain?

If the judge looked at it and merely affirmed his previous ruling, the appearance would be that whatever is going on was not in violation, or a cease and desist order would have been issued.
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:41 PM   #48
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Default cease an desist

The superior court judge did issue a cease and desist. Both Camp Belknap and the town selectman knowingly ignored the judge. Even with notice to the town they refused to revoke the building permit. The judge has recently reaffirmed her stay order at a formal court hearing and then on February 1st the camp askes for and the town granted a memorandum of understanding that directly tries to circumvent the judges order.
The construct done is for a 8 lane firing range 600 feet from low density residential. They proposing 300 kids here. [ATTACH][/ATTACH]
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:03 PM   #49
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I'm a big fan of kids' camps. But I share the neighbors' concerns with what would basically be a commercial gun range and its attendant noise for hours every day of the camp season. I don't think that's quite right.
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:36 PM   #50
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Randy,

You may want to write a letter to local papers such as Laconia Daily Sun. Get the word out.

We have similar issues with Laconia selectmen, namely ignoring the Right to Know Law. Getting the word out is a good grass-roots effort to stir the pot.
.
Laconia does not have a Board of Selectmen. You may be referring to the Laconia City Council.
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:43 PM   #51
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Thank you FlyingScot.
I believe you followed a post about my rooster. If you are on the bay and have heard the rooster recently be advised we moved back to mainland to protect him and exactly where the camp is trying to locate the firing range. Someone stated that my rooster (MELVIN) was still on farm. He is not. The point is, if you can hear Melvin on the mainland you are going to hear 300 kids screaming and yelling and of course the guns.
I have been watching Camp Belknap since 1965 and have duly noted the expansion. Recent years it has been explosive. We are not out to kill the camp but will not allow them to march into low density residential and ruin our values and quiet enjoyment.
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:48 PM   #52
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The camp proposes to put 300 kids hereName:  150408447_5751326564893011_6379982145343138395_o.jpg
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:07 PM   #53
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Default Camp Belknap's own words Nuisance moving it to Low Density Residential

Here THEY, CAMP BELKNAP state that THEIR rifle range is a nuisance to their programing and sleeping quarters and they choose to move it to LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL destroying the values of Donald McWhirter's property and the rest of the neighbors properties. Their words. Not mine!!!
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:50 PM   #54
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Randy, any chance you can find / post a link to the court order? I coudn't find it through (an admittedly brief) internet search.

I'm trying to figure out exactly what's being contested. Sounds like they are looking to convert the rifle range from .22s to air rifles and move its location. Is there construction of some sort tied into this, and is that the issue, or is the issue the noise concerns of some property owners closer to the new proposed location?

Regarding the number of campers, 300 is the total number of campers in the entire camp at one time. From what I could tell in the images you posted, the maximum at the range at any one time would be 16.

Any additional info would be appreciated!
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:47 AM   #55
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Default Camp Belknap Expansion

Hello Roy,

The purpose on the post is that the town selectman, planning board and zoning do not follow their own rules and state law. Also the selectman and Camp Belknap feel they have the authority to ignore a superior court judge.

The merits of the case are a whole other issue but certainly something Don and I are willing to share. The primary objection identified and offered by the camp in their own words is that a rifle range is a nuance. As they themselves state "the noise can be a nuisance to nearby programming and sleeping quarters". And then they go on to say "The new riffle range will be sited at the periphery of the camp". What they fail to recognize and consider, as usual, is that while the "nuisance" is away from their own activities it's now at the "periphery" next to and on Low Density Residential land. The abutters now have the burden of the sound. So while Camp Belknap selfishly improves and removes a "nuisance" of their own they simply put this burden on many other property owners and frankly much of the bay as this noise will be very close to the water and as we all know noise over water travels.

With regards to the noise and the amount of kids Seth Kassel, director of Camp Belknap clarifies it. In the range there will be 16 kids but as the rifle range is a big attraction the staging will be as much as three hundred kids. The noise of the rifles themselves is at issue but the greater issue is the kids in and around the range and now next to and on Low Density Residentially zoned property.

Specifically where the planning board has failed is this land was in conservation. The camp concocted some sort of conservation easement for their benefit that allowed them to just pull the land out of conservation. Frankly a meaningless conservation easement. Shame on ConCom. Either way the lot and land at issue that the camp owns is in a Low Density Residential zoning and if ever it were allowed to be used commercially it would need to go to ZBA which it never has. If ever this is heard by ZBA the top priority of ZBA is does this commercial use adverse effect the abutters quiet enjoyment and of course values.

I assume you are a property owner in Tuftonboro. I ask you to think of your own home with 300 kids screaming and yelling and clearly a "nuisance" as Camp Belknap's own director Seth Kassel labels it right next to your own home.

Camp Belknap acts as thought they are above the law. They were well aware that a stay order was in place. Hell they put one on the Owen family on Farm Island that lasted for over a year and WE RESPECTED THE LAW! They know what they are doing. So the town got a" SUMMONS". And although no one got incarcerated or fined they were certainly not acquitted. The stay order was reaffirmed and then just days later the town sings and memorandum crafted by Camp Belknap that again is against a superior court judge's order.

As property owners we need a town that respects zoning and the taxpayer's property. Our town is failing us and we are forced to use the superior court at our expense. It is our wish that the reader puts themselves in these abutting property owners shoes and simply just asks themselves what right does Camp Belknap have to remove the burden of their own "nuisance" and put on the back of others?

THE SUMMONS AND ORDERS TO FOLLOW.

THANK YOU FOR YOU INTEREST AND CONSIDERATION ROY
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:29 AM   #56
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Here THEY, CAMP BELKNAP state that THEIR rifle range is a nuisance to their programing and sleeping quarters and they choose to move it to LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL destroying the values of Donald McWhirter's property and the rest of the neighbors properties. Their words. Not mine!!!
They say that they are moving to air rifles. Those are much, much quieter than a .22. Nuisance abated.

As for the crowds of 300 kids at the new rifle range - where are you getting that figure from? They never had more than 10-20 kids at one time at the existing rifle range. Where is this huge crowd coming from?

Last edited by Pricestavern; 02-17-2021 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Addt'l info
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:38 AM   #57
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They say that they are moving to air rifles. Those are much, much quieter than a .22. Nuisance abated.

As for the crowds of 300 kids at the new rifle range - where are you getting that figure from? They never had more than 10-20 kids at one time at the existing rifle range. Where is this huge crowd coming from?
They clearly aren't going to have all 300 campers sitting there cheering on the active shooters on the range. Sounds like Randy is dramatizing this....
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:50 PM   #58
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this is the from the planning board meeting. seth kassels director of the camp acknowledged a staging of kids waiting and stated 300. there are also 117 employees too. winnie shores has the nuisance as it is now and complains. the camp themselves characterized the rifle range and a nuisance.

Pricestavern,
I assume you are a land owner. Seth Kassels stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

THE ZONING IS LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL just put your own family home in this situation please and thank you
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:15 PM   #59
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STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
SUPERIOR COURT

CARROLL, SS SEPTEMBER TERM, 2020

Donald J. McWhirter

v.

Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire

Case No.

APPEAL OF DECISION OF THE TOWN OF
TUFTONBORO, NEW HAMPSHIRE PLANNING BOARD
PURSUANT TO NEW HAMPSHIRE R.S.A. 677:15

NOW COMES the Petitioner, Donald J. McWhirter, with an address at 10 North Chase Point Road, Mirror Lake, New Hampshire 03853 (hereinafter referred to as “McWhirter”), and complains against the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, with an address at P.O. Box 98, 240 Middle Road, Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire 03816 (hereinafter “Town”), stating as follows:
1. McWhirter is the owner of certain premises referred to as Tuftonboro Tax Map 39, Lot 1-12, situate at North Chase Point Road, Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (hereinafter the “McWhirter Premises”).

2. McWhirter obtained title to the McWhirter Premises by Warranty Deed of Joan M. Allard, Donald J. McWhirter and Mary Ellen Haley, Sole Trustees of Mountain View Real Estate Trust, to Donald J. McWhirter dated and recorded January 18, 2013 in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds at Book 3054, Page 236 and by Quitclaim Deed of Young Men’s Christian Association Camp Belknap to Donald J. McWhirter dated April 10, 2019 and recorded September 3, 2019 in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds at Book 3461, Page 282.

3. The McWhirter Premises are comprised of approximately one (1) acre.

4. Situate on the McWhirter Premises is a single family residence.

5. The McWhirter Premises is situate in the Low Density Residential District in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire.

6. Section 3.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (hereinafter the “Zoning Ordinance”) provides, with respect to the Low Density Residential District, that “(t)he intent of this District is to provide for predominantly low density residential and agricultural development on individual Lots or in cluster developments, which can be accommodated on the land without major disruptions of the natural terrain, vegetation, watercourses or surface drainage and which would not have Town water or sewers.”

7. Abutting the McWhirter Premises is a certain tract or parcel of land, with the buildings thereon, comprising approximately seventy two and twenty seven hundredths (72.27) acres (hereinafter the “YMCA Camp Belknap Premises”), owned by Young Men’s Christian Association Camp Belknap (hereinafter “YMCA Camp Belknap”), a New Hampshire non-profit corporation with a principal office and mailing address at 11 Chase Point Road, Mirror Lake, New Hampshire 03853.

8. Upon information and belief, YMCA Camp Belknap obtained title to the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises by Warranty Deed of New Hampshire Young Men’s Christian Association (a/k/a New Hampshire YMCA, and f/k/a The State Executive Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association of New Hampshire) to Young Men’s Christian Association Camp Belknap dated July 1, 1997 and recorded July 25, 1997 in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds at Book 1708, Page 235.

9. The YMCA Camp Belknap Premises is situate in the Low Density Residential District in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire.

10. YMCA Camp Belknap is also the owner of certain premises situate in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire and commonly referred to as Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-11, comprising approximately one hundred three (103) acres, Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-12, comprising approximately nine (9) acres, and Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-13, comprising approximately fifteen and seventy one hundredths (15.71) acres.

11. YMCA Camp Belknap also owns certain premises situate in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire and commonly referred to as Tuftonboro Tax Map 27-2-1, comprising approximately nine hundred twenty two thousandths (0.922) acres, Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-16, comprising approximately six and forty four hundredths (6.440) acres, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-2-2, comprising approximately seven and one half (7.500) acres, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-33, comprising approximately one half (0.500) acre, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-34, comprising approximately forty four (44.000) acres, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-36, comprising approximately two and six hundredths (2.060) acres, and Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-39, comprising approximately twenty seven (27.000) acres.

12. The current use of the McWhirter Premises is residential.

13. The current use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises is an overnight and day camp.

14. The YMCA Camp Belknap Premises were utilized by predecessors in title to YMCA Camp Belknap as a seasonal campground and trailer park for the period through approximately 1973.

15. Upon information and belief, there was little, if any, use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises during the period between approximately 1973 and approximately 1983.

16. Upon information and belief, the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises returned to active use as an overnight and day camp in and after 1983.

17. On or about April 27, 2020, YMCA Camp Belknap filed a Site Plan Review Application with the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire Planning Board (hereinafter the “Planning Board”) for a project described as “New Air Rifle Range, New Bath House, and (2) relocated/renovated Staff Houses within parcel 039-001-013-000 at YMCA Camp Belknap.”

18. The April 27, 2020 Site Plan Review Application filed by YMCA Camp Belknap with the Planning Board involved the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises only (Tuftonboro Tax Map 039-001-013).

19. The April 27, 2020 Site Plan Review Application did not involve any of the remaining premises situate in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire owned by YMCA Camp Belknap, including Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-11, Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-12, Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-13, Tuftonboro Tax Map 27-2-1, Tuftonboro Tax Map 39-2-16, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-2-2, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-33, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-34, Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-36 or Tuftonboro Tax Map 40-3-39.

20. A Public Hearing was held by the Planning Board on June 18, 2020.

21. At the June 18, 2020 Public Hearing, the April 27, 2020 Site Plan Review Application was accepted as complete and the matter was opened to Public Hearing.

22. Following the Public Hearing on June 18, 2020, the Planning Board “confirmed there was an error in the notification process” and “the application (was to be) re-noticed and scheduled for July 16th”.

23. On or about July 6, 2020, YMCA Camp Belknap re-submitted a revised Site Plan Review Application (the “Application”) to the Planning Board.

24. A Public Hearing was held by the Planning Board on July 16, 2020 at which Public Hearing the Application was deemed complete, jurisdiction was accepted by the Planning Board and the Public Hearing was held.

25. The Public Hearing was continued to and held on August 20, 2020 and September 3, 2020.

26. At the September 3, 2020 Public Hearing, the Planning Board conditionally approved the Application.

27. On or about September 20, 2020, the Planning Board issued a “NOTICE OF DECISION For September 3, 2020” (the “Planning Board Decision”).

28. The Planning Board further issued, on or about September 20, 2020, “APPROVED MINUTES of the September 3, 2020 Planning Board Meeting.”

29. New Hampshire R.S.A. 677:15(I) states as follows:

“Any persons aggrieved by any decision of the planning board concerning a plat or subdivision may present to the superior court a petition, duly verified, setting forth that such decision is illegal or unreasonable in whole or in part and specifying the grounds upon which the same is claimed to be illegal or unreasonable. Such petition shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the date upon which the board voted to approve or disapprove the application; provided however, that if the petitioner shows that the minutes of the meeting at which such vote was taken, including the written decision, were not filed within 5 business days after the vote pursuant to RSA 676:3, II, the petitioner shall have the right to amend the petition within 30 days after the date on which the written decision was actually filed. This paragraph shall not apply to planning board decisions appealable to the board of adjustment pursuant to RSA 676:5, III. The 30-day time period shall be counted in calendar days beginning with the date following the date upon which the planning board voted to approve or disapprove the application, in accordance with RSA 21:35.”

30. The Planning Board Decision is illegal or unreasonable.

31. New Hampshire R.S.A. 676:4(I)(b) requires, in part, that “(t)he applicant shall file the application with the board or its agent at least 21 days prior to the meeting at which the application will be accepted, provided that the planning board may specify a shorter period of time in its rules of procedure.”

32. Section 4.2.1 of the Site Plan Review Regulations of the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (hereinafter “SPRR”) provides, in part, that “(a)n application for Site Plan Review approval shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Planning Board at least twenty-two (22) days in advance of a regularly scheduled Planning Board Meeting…”.

33. The Application was filed with the Planning Board on July 6, 2020.

34. The Planning Board accepted jurisdiction of the Application at a Public Hearing on July 16, 2020.

35. The provisions of New Hampshire R.S.A. 676:4(I) and Section 4.2.1 of the SPRR have not been complied with.
36. Sections 1.2.A.1, .2 and .3 of the SPRR provide that “(t)he purposes of these Regulations are to… (p)rovide for the safe and attractive development of the site and guard against such conditions as would involve danger or injury to health, safety, or prosperity by reason of: …(i)nadequate drainage or conditions conducive to flooding of the property or that of another; …(i)nadequate protection for the quality of groundwater; …(and) (u)ndesirable and preventable elements of pollution such as noise, smoke, soot, particulates, or any other discharge into the environment which may prove harmful to persons, structures, or adjacent properties…”.

37. Section 1.2.H of the SPRR provides that “(t)he purposes of these Regulations are to: …(i)nclude such provisions as will create conditions favorable for health, safety, convenience and prosperity.”

38. As provided for in documentation submitted to the Planning Board, specifically including, but not limited to, correspondence dated July 12, 2020 from Peter Cooperdock, CSS, certain information regarding questions about the accuracy of statements included in the Application regarding, among other things, septic system capacity and proximity to wetlands, along with other issues associated with noise pollution, impact on abutters, and light pollution, were raised.

39. Additionally, the Application includes information and documentation indicating that “the noise can be a nuisance to nearby programming and sleeping quarters”, “(e)ach camper that is on the firing line is required to be wearing safety glasses and ear protection specific for rifles”, “(d)ue to the specified muzzle velocity of the selected air rifle (500 fps) and the topography at Chase Point Road, all pellets that are not contained within the range enclosure will pass over Chase Point Road, at minimum 60’ – 3” above the road” and the Avanti 887 Gold Medalist air rifles include a California Proposition 65 warning for lead.

40. For each of the foregoing reasons, the Application fails to comply with the provisions of Sections 1.2.A.1, .2, .3 and H of the SPRR.

41. Section 3.2.1 of the SPRR provides that “(t)he Site Plan Review procedure in no way relieves the applicant from compliance with or approval under the provisions of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, Building Codes, and/or other regulations which pertain to or govern the proposed development. No Site Plan will be approved unless it is in compliance with all pertinent ordinances and regulations.”

42. Section 3.6 of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (hereinafter the “Zoning Ordinance”) requires the granting of a special exception for overnight and day camps.

43. Section 3.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that “(a)ll special exceptions are subject to the provisions of Section XVII”.

44. The Application is not based on, and YMCA Camp Belknap has failed and/or refused to obtain, a special exception in accordance with the provisions of Sections 3.6 and 3.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance and Section 3.2.1 of the SPRR.
45. Included in the Application was a request by YMCA Camp Belknap for a waiver of the requirements of Section 6.3.2 of the Zoning Ordinance pertaining to parking travel lanes.

46. Section 6.3.2 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that “(t)ravel lanes shall not be less than: 22 feet wide for 90 degree angle parking; 18 feet wide for 60 degree angle parking; 12 feet wide for 45 degree angle parking; and 10 feet wide for 30 degree angle parking.”

47. The Application proposed that “parking spaces… be 14’ wide”.

48. Section 10 of the SPRR provides the requirements for the granting of a Waiver. Specifically, the granting of a Waiver requires that a majority of those present and voting find that all of the following apply:

The granting of the waiver will not be detrimental to the public safety, health, or welfare or be injurious to other property and will promote the public interest.

The waiver will not, in any manner, vary the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance or Master Plan.

The waiver will substantially secure the objectives, standards and requirements of these regulations.

A particular and identifiable hardship exists or a specific circumstance warrants the granting of a waiver. Factors to be considered in determining the existence of a hardship shall include, but not be limited to:

Topography and other site features.

Available alternative site locations.

Geographic location of the property.

The size/magnitude of the project being evaluated and availability of colocation shall be considered, particularly with regard to telecommunication facilities.

49. McWhirter submitted to the Planning Board oral and video evidence regarding traffic, traffic congestion and safety associated with YMCA Camp Belknap premises.

50. With respect to the Waiver requested in the Application, the Planning Board passed a motion to grant the Waiver by a six (6) to zero (0) vote.

51. The Planning Board failed to discuss and/or find that the provisions of Section 10.1.A through E of the SPRR applied to the Waiver requested in the Application.

52. YMCA Camp Belknap argued to the Planning Board that the use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises was a grandfathered, non-conforming use.
53. Non-conforming use is defined in Section 1.1.37 of the Zoning Ordinance as “(a)ny use which lawfully existed prior to the effective date(s) planning or zoning regulations with which it is now in conflict.”

54. Section 5.1.1 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that “(a)ny Non-conforming Use may be continued unless discontinued for a continuous period of twelve (12) months, at which time it may not be reestablished and any future use shall be in conformity with this Ordinance. For the purposes of this Section, ‘discontinued’ shall mean ceased, without any regard for the intent to cease or the intent to re-establish a Non-conforming Use.”

55. McWhirter provided information and documentation to the Planning Board supporting a finding that, to the extent the proposed use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises was a grandfathered, non-conforming use, any such grandfathered, non-conforming use had been discontinued for a continuous period of twelve (12) months and, as such, any future use was required to be in conformity with the Zoning Ordinance.

56. The Application is not in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance as the same pertains to grandfathered status, non-conforming use and the requirement that YMCA Camp Belknap obtain a special exception.

57. Section 1.1.20 of the Zoning Ordinance defines “expansion” as “(a)ny increase in the intensity of the use of a Lot, Building, or Structure. This includes, but is not limited to: the addition of bedrooms to a Dwelling; the addition of Dwelling Units to a Lot; or the addition of seats to a restaurant. This may result in a larger footprint or an increase in height.”

58. The proposal included in the Application constituted an expansion as defined in Section 1.1.20 of the Zoning Ordinance.

59. The proposed expansion of the use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises required compliance with the provisions of the SPRR and the Zoning Ordinance, specifically including, but not limited to, the obtaining of a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

60. No special exception was applied for or obtained from the Zoning Board of Adjustment with respect to the Application.

61. YMCA Camp Belknap argued to the Planning Board “that the proposed uses are not an expansion because the uses are already there and existing… if the Board views it as an expansion the argument is that it can be expanded and referenced the New London case.” See August 20, 2020 Tuftonboro Planning Board Minutes at p. 2.

62. YMCA Camp Belknap further argued to the Planning Board that “the improvement of the shooting range is a natural expansion, natural progression, a natural change.” Id.

63. The argument by YMCA Camp Belknap to the Planning Board is contrary to the terms and provisions of the SPRR, the Zoning Ordinance and case law as it relates to expansion of a non-conforming use and the consideration of factors pertaining to other properties of YMCA Camp Belknap not at issue in the Application.

64. Specifically, YMCA Camp Belknap argued to the Planning Board at the August 20, 2020 Public Hearing as follows:

“Suzanne Brunelle, Devine Millimet, representing Camp Belknap… stated the camp has been there since 1903 therefore, there is no further discussion or issue as to whether it is a prior nonconforming use; noting the current use was in effect well before 1988… She stated the use may not be an enlargement and noted that all of the uses the camp currently has, nothing has changed (cabins, bathrooms and shooting range). She stated the shooting range has been there since the 1940’s and is a prior nonconforming use and the recommendation by the camp is only an improvement in safety. She stated the course of conduct of this particular Board and this town with regard to the camp since 1903 has been to allow these things. She stated bathrooms and housing for staff are not big asks. She stated the camp operates in a large area; noting there were some issues with different tax parcels and questioned the relevancy of such because they are all adjacent parcels. She stated the parcels could be merged into one tax lot however, such is very arbitrary to her and doesn’t feel that argument bears too much weight.” (See August 20, 2020 Tuftonboro Planning Board Minutes at p. 2).

65. In its argument to the Planning Board, YMCA Camp Belknap cited several decisions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, including the decision in New London Land Use Association v. New London Zoning Board of Adjustment, 130 N.H. 510 (1988).

66. YMCA Camp Belknap asserted that, with respect to “the (proposed) relocation and renovation of (2) cabins for Staff Housing [Johnson Cottage and Kitchen Corp Cabin], a new Air Rifle Range, and a new Bath House” (see Application at p. 1), “it should be noted that a landowner is also allowed to increase the volume, intensity and/or frequency of the non-conforming use so long as that expansion does not produce a substantial change in the effect on the surrounding neighborhood. Town of Hampton v. Brust, 122 N.H. 463 (1982)” (see August 18, 2020 Letter from YMCA Camp Belknap at p. 6) and that “(t)hese requested proposals clearly ‘reflect the nature and purpose’ of a summer camp, and are consistent with Camp Belknap’s other structures and buildings.” See Id. at p. 7.

67. In its discussion of the Application at the September 3, 2020 Public Hearing, the Planning Board discussed “whether the expansion is permissible” (see September 3, 2020 Tuftonboro Planning Board Minutes at p. 3). In furtherance thereof, the Planning Board “referenced the 3 part test; 1) to the extent to which the challenged use reflects the nature and purpose of the prevailing non-conforming use. …; 2) whether the challenged use is merely a different manner of utilizing the original nonconforming use or whether it constitutes a different use and 3) whether the challenged use will have a substantially different impact upon the neighborhood.”

68. McWhirter provided information and documentation to the Planning Board supporting a finding that, with respect to the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises specifically, the proposed use as provided in the Application both constituted an expansion of a prior non-conforming use and would have a substantially different impact upon the surrounding residential neighborhood.

69. The discussion regarding and findings of the Planning Board with respect to the aforementioned “3 part test” failed to support a finding that “expansion is permissible”.

70. The Planning Board based its discussion and approval of the Application on the so-called “3 part test” and failed to address the issues of whether the proposed use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises constituted an enlargement or expansion of a prior non-conforming use.

71. The New Hampshire Supreme Court, in its decision in New London Land Use Association v. New London Zoning Board of Adjustment, 130 N.H. 510, 516 (1988), stated as follows:

“Nonconforming uses may be expanded, where the expansion is a natural activity, closely related to the manner in which a piece of property is used at the time of the enactment of the ordinance creating the nonconforming use…However, enlargement or expansion may not be substantial and may not render premises or property proportionately less adequate.” Id. (Citations omitted).

72. Clearly, the proposal of YMCA Camp Belknap will result in a substantial enlargement or expansion of what YMCA Camp Belknap argues is a pre-existing nonconforming use and would render Tax Map 39-1-13 (the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises) proportionately less adequate.

73. Specific to the New London Land Use Association v. New London Zoning Board of Adjustment facts, the New Hampshire Supreme Court stated that, “(a)bsent a willing relinquishment of its nonconforming use, Lakeside may not substantially change the way in which the motel units were situated on the seventeen-acre parcel when the nonconforming use was created.” New London Land Use Association v. New London Zoning Board of Adjustment, 130 N.H. 510, 517 (1988).

74. As the Application proposes both the relocation and renovation of two (2) cabins, the relocation of an air rifle range, and a new bath house, which such relocated cabins and rifle range are not currently located on the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises, the dictates of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the New London Land Use Association v. New London Zoning Board of Adjustment are particularly instructive.

75. In summary, the New Hampshire Supreme Court stated as follows:

“Therefore, it is the policy of zoning law to construe strictly zoning ordinance provisions which provide for the continuation of nonconforming uses. Keene v. Blood, 101 N.H. 466, 469, 146 A.2d 262, 264 (1958). The policy of zoning law is to carefully limit the enlargement and extension of nonconforming uses. Arsenault v. Keene, 104 N.H. 356, 359, 187 A.2d 60, 62 (1962); Ackley v. Nashua, 102 N.H. 551, 554, 163 A.2d 6, 9 (1960). The ‘ultimate purpose of zoning regulations [contemplates that nonconforming uses] should be reduced to conformity as completely and rapidly as possible…’ 82 Am.Jur.2d Zoning and Planning §191 (1976).” Id. at p. 518.

76. Similarly, in its decision in the matter styled Hurley v. Town of Hollis, 143 N.H. 567 (1999), the New Hampshire Supreme Court stated as follows:

“Whether a proposed use would be ‘a substantial change in the nature or purpose of the [pre-existing] nonconforming use turns on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.’ Conforti, 141 N.H. at 82, 677 A.2d at 150. In conducting this inquiry, we consider: (1) the extent the use in question reflects the nature and purpose of the prevailing nonconforming use; (2) whether the use at issue is merely a different manner of utilizing the same use or constitutes a use different in character, nature, and kind; and (3) whether the use will have a substantially different effect on the neighborhood. Id. at 81, 677 A.2d at 150; see New London Land Use Assoc. v. New London Zoning Board, 130 N.H. 510, 517, 543 A.2d 1385, 1388 (1988). We are mindful that nonconforming uses cannot be substantially enlarged or expanded, but may only be altered ‘where the expansion is a natural activity, closely related to the manner in which a piece of property is used at the time of the enactment of the ordinance creating the nonconforming use.’ New London Land Use Assoc., 130 N.H. at 516, 543 A.2d at 1388; see Conforti, 141 N.H. at 81, 677 A.2d at 150 (permissible scope of the nonconforming use dictated by property’s use at time ordinance enacted that created nonconforming use). Further, ‘[a]ny expansion of a nonconforming use must be evaluated in the context of the zone in which it is located.’ Grey Rocks Land Trust v. Town of Hebron, 136 N.H. 239, 245, 614 A.2d 1048, 1051 (1992)….

…Siergiewicz’s proposal anticipates relocating the business into a new building that is plainly industrial in nature, in contrast to the barn, which is consistent with the residential/agricultural zone…(T)he industrial building’s footprint would be tripled and accompanied by a new and expanded parking lot…(W)e cannot conclude that the proposal is consistent with, or a natural expansion of, the original nonconforming use….

While we have previously upheld an increase in the volume, intensity, or frequency of a nonconforming use that reflects the natural expansion and growth of trade and does not substantially change the use’s effect on the neighborhood, we have done so only within the confines of the existing structure. See Town of Hampton v. Brust, 122 N.H. 463, 469, 446 A.2d 458, 461 (1982) (permitting increase of arcade machines within existing structure); cf. Devaney v. Town of Windham, 132 N.H. 302, 305-06, 564 A.2d 454, 456 (1989) (prohibiting landowner’s addition of second story that increased volume of premises and brought structure closer to property lines as a natural expansion of nonconforming use). ‘We have never permitted an expansion of a nonconforming use that involved more than the internal expansion of a business within a pre-existing structure,’ Grey Rocks Land Trust, 136 N.H. at 244, 614 A.2d at 1051, and we will not do so here.” Hurley v. Town of Hollis, 143 N.H. 567, 571-573 (1999).

77. YMCA Camp Belknap’s proposal as provided for in the Application provides for significantly more than the internal expansion of a business within a pre-existing structure.

78. The Application constitutes an expansion of a nonconforming use requiring YMCA Camp Belknap to obtain a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

79. Section 1.1.4 of the Zoning Ordinance defines “Accessory Use” as “(a)ny subordinate use of premises which customarily is accepted as a use associated with, and subordinate to, the principal use of a Lot. An Accessory Use may be neither injurious nor detrimental to the neighborhood.”

80. McWhirter provided information and documentation to the Planning Board that the proposed use as provided for in the Application, including the principal use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises and any accessory use of the YMCA Camp Belknap Premises, was both injurious and detrimental to the neighborhood and to the McWhirter Premises.

81. Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that, “(a)ny use that may be obnoxious or injurious by reason of production or emission of odor, dust, smoke, refuse matter, fumes, noise, vibration, or similar conditions, or that is dangerous to the comfort, peace, enjoyment or health or safety of the community, or tending to its disturbance or annoyance, is prohibited.”

82. The Application fails to comply with the provisions of Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

83. Section 17.8.2 of the Zoning Ordinance provides for the standards required for the granting of special exceptions.

84. YMCA Camp Belknap has failed to apply for and/or meet the standards required for the granting of a special exception.

85. Section 3.5.3 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that “(a)ll Buildings or Structures hereafter erected, reconstructed, altered, enlarged, or moved, or all future uses of premises in the Town of Tuftonboro shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance. Any Building, Structure, or land shall not be used for any manner other than is permitted in the District in which it is located.”

86. The Application fails to comply with the provisions of Section 3.5.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

87. The Planning Board impermissibly considered the Application based on the ownership by YMCA Camp Belknap of real estate in the Town of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire other than that for which the Application was filed.

88. With respect to the air rifle range proposed in the Application, the Planning Board found, in part, that “the relocation of the air rifle range is safer”, “the air rifle range is quieter and safer”, “the proposal is much safer and an improvement than what is currently occurring”, “the proposal is a better safer option”, “the proposed air rifle range is safer than what currently exists”, and that “the impact will be significantly less than what currently exists”. However, the Planning Board failed to find, for example, that the air rifle range was quiet and/or that the air rifle range was safe and/or that the air rifle range complied with the provisions of the SPRR and/or the Zoning Ordinance.

89. The Planning Board, at the September 3, 2020 Public Hearing, cited the fact that “the Town’s Code Officer hasn’t had any issues with the uses and no one has challenged his decisions”. See September 3, 2020 Minutes of the Planning Board at p. 3.

90. In fact, the September 3, 2020 Minutes of the Planning Board indicate that “Kate Nesbit agreed with Mr. Qua and Mr. Young and noted that no one has questioned the Code Officer’s decisions in the past.” See Id.

91. The discussions of the Planning Board and the findings and rulings of the Planning Board approving the Application impermissibly rely on evidence that is irrelevant, not properly before the Planning Board and for which McWhirter was unable to adequately provide a response.

92. The Notice of Decision issued by the Planning Board included as a condition of approval that “(t)he applicant shall submit Police Department signoff or third party range official verification on the air rifle range safety and procedure”. See September 3, 2020 Notice of Decision at p. 1.

93. Such condition of approval is a required finding of the Planning Board to support approval of the Application and, as such, the condition of approval involving the “Police Department” or the “third party range official verification on the air rifle range safety and procedure” is an impermissible transfer of power and authority by the Planning Board and, further, highlights the failure and/or refusal of the Planning Board to make required findings and rulings to support the Planning Board Decision.

94. The Notice of Decision of the Planning Board includes as a condition of approval that “(t)he applicant shall submit Fire Department sign off”. See September 3, 2020 Notice of Decision at p. 1.

95. Such condition of approval is a required finding of the Planning Board to support approval of the Application and, as such, the condition of approval involving the “Fire Department sign off” is an impermissible transfer of power and authority by the Planning Board and, further, highlights the failure and/or refusal of the Planning Board to make required findings and rulings to support the Planning Board Decision.

96. The Notice of Decision of the Planning Board requires as a condition of approval that “(t)he plan shall be revised to reflect the boundary line adjustment between Tax Map 39-1-12 and the subject parcel, Tax Map 39-1-13, if the boundary line adjustment has been recorded.” See September 3, 2020 Notice of Decision at p. 1.

97. The boundary line adjustment referred to by the Planning Board in the September 3, 2020 Notice of Decision is on record in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds as of September 3 and 25, 2019. See Quitclaim Deed from Young Men’s Christian Association Camp Belknap to Donald J. McWhirter dated April 10, 2019 and recorded September 3, 2019 in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds at Book 3461, Page 282 and plan entitled “Boundary Line Adjustment and Right-of-Way 10 North Chase Point Road Tuftonboro Carroll County, NH for Donald McWhirter” dated March 2019 and recorded September 25, 2019 in the Carroll County (New Hampshire) Registry of Deeds at Plan Book 242, Page 1.

98. Section 4.3 of the SPRR requires that Site Plans show existing and proposed features including, but not limited to, deed references and the boundary lines of the area included in the site, including angles or bearings of the lines, dimensions and the lot area.

99. Effective with the date of the filing of the Application and the date of the Planning Board Decision, the Site Plan failed to include the deed references or the boundary lines of the area included in the site, including angles or bearings of lines dimensions and the lot area.

100. The failure of the Planning Board to have before it the deed references and the boundary lines of the area included in the site, including angles or bearings of the lines, dimensions and the lot area and the action of the Planning Board in approving the Application without the information required by Section 4.3 of the SPRR is in violation of the SPRR.

101. Based on the foregoing, the Planning Board Decision is illegal or unreasonable in that it fails to comply with the provisions of the SPRR, the Zoning Ordinance and case law and fails to comply with McWhirter’s administrative, statutory and due process rights.

102. For each of the foregoing reasons, the Planning Board Decision is illegal or unreasonable and must be reversed.

WHEREFORE, your Petitioner, Donald J. McWhirter, respectfully prays that this Honorable Court:
A. Allow a certiorari order directed to the Tuftonboro Planning Board to review the Decision of the Tuftonboro Planning Board dated September 3, 2020;

B. Following a review of such Decision, enter a finding that such Decision is illegal or unreasonable;

C. Reverse the Decision; and

D. Order such other and further relief as may be just and equitable.

Respectfully submitted,


Dated: September ____, 2020
Donald J. McWhirter

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
COUNTY OF ____________________

Subscribed and sworn to, before me, this _____ day of September, 2020 by Donald J. McWhirter.


Justice of the Peace/Notary Public


Printed Name
My Commission Expires:

Petitioner’s counsel:

The Law Offices of Gregory D.
Wirth, P.L.L.C.



Dated: September ____, 2020 By:
Gregory D. Wirth, Esq. (NH Bar #2769)
383 Central Avenue, Suite 249
P.O. Box 2209
Dover, NH 03821-2209
603-516-2200
Email: gwirth@gwirthlaw.com
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My Turn: A crucial moment for Winnipesaukee’s Farm Island
By EILEEN McNAMARA
For the Monitor
Published: 7/14/2019 12:25:13 AM


The future of Farm Island on Lake Winnipesaukee is not a NIMBY issue; it’s a preservation and protection issue.

Neighbors of one of the few large uninhabited islands remaining in New Hampshire’s biggest lake are not saying “not in my backyard”; they’re asking, “Do we know what we’re doing?”

The Tuftonboro Planning Board on Thursday is set to consider a proposal to develop a pristine property without first determining the impact a 12-parcel subdivision would have on a fragile loon population, water quality in nearby 19-Mile Bay, and the experience of boys at Camp Belknap who paddle canoes from basecamp on the Tuftonboro shore every summer to sleep under the stars on the 7.5 acres of Farm Island that the 116-year-old YMCA camp already owns.

The 13.3 unspoiled acres at issue have been owned by generations of the Winchester family since 1905. The uninhabited summer house built by Maria and George Winchester in 1906, the only dwelling ever erected on the island, still stands. In the 19th century, farmers used the island to pasture sheep and to keep cows and pigs. A well-preserved stone foundation at the southeast end of the island is a reminder of Winnipesaukee’s role in the agricultural history of the Lakes Region. The artifacts in its soil speak to a time when the lake itself was long the preserve of local Abenaki tribes.

“Farm Island is a valuable resource for archeological sites and provides a high degree of archeological clarity for well preserved and intact terrestrial and submerged pre-contact Native American and post-contact European American archeological resources, potentially spanning thousands of years of human occupation,” according to a report prepared this month by Victoria Bunker, an archeological consultant, for Camp Belknap. “This degree of integrity at diverse sites of multiple time periods is rare,” she wrote, maybe even worthy of a slot on the State or National Register of Historic Places.

The potential loss of that history and this natural resource to multiple septic systems and private docks has prompted an outcry from those who love the lake and its more than 260 islands. More than 200 people have signed a petition opposing the subdivision of Farm Island, now owned by three brothers, Donald, David and John Winchester.

No one disputes the right of the Winchester brothers to profit from the sale of their personal inheritance. But when private property is entangled with the public good the calculus is not so simple. The signatories to the petition opposing the sale of Farm Island to two inexperienced developers are asking only that the Planning Board do its due diligence and delay any decision until a complete environmental assessment is conducted of the proposed project.

The Winchesters are not without options should the planning board reject or delay the pending subdivision proposal. Camp Belknap has offered to purchase and preserve the 13.3 acres on Farm Island now for sale. Had it been financially able, Camp Belknap would have bought the entire island in 2010 when it purchased 7.5 acres. It is in a better position to do so now, according to Seth M. Kassels, the executive director of Camp Belknap.

The island is still listed with the Multiple Listing Service as “active, under contract” with Maxfield Real Estate for $1,495,000, down from an original asking price of $2 million.

“That’s a large amount of money for Camp Belknap,” Kassels acknowledged, “but if this current purchase and sale agreement were to fall apart, Camp Belknap, with the help of our neighbors and alumni, would make every effort to purchase the island with the goal of preserving it for generations to come.”

Residents of nearby Chase Island report that developers are not alone in staking a claim to the sought-after wooded preserve. In recent days, they have seen a bald eagle among the pines that blanket Farm Island, fishing in 19-Mile Bay.

Maybe it’s a sign.

(Eileen McNamara, a former Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the “Boston Globe,” is the director of the journalism program at Brandeis University. She lives in Moultonborough.)
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:47 PM   #62
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Default Failed camp Belknap action

Dear XCR-700,

Be thankful that the Owen family is going to pick up where the Winchester's left off. Be thankfuld Camp Belknap was not given the opportunity to destroy the island as they destroyed what the loon preservation committee named and northern Winnipesukees best loon nesting site. Or when Seth Kassels specified to cut a lagoon full of human waste releasing thousands of gallons of human waste towards and into the lake. Now for example when he wants to move a Camp Belknap “nuisance”, as he calls it, from the inner part of the camp to the “periphery” of camp to annoy low density residential people where they are subject to the “nuisance”.

Please understand I met with Seth Kassels. I told him our dreams and wishes so we could act in harmony. I spoke with him with complete transparency. He took what said and lied about every bit of it. Fabricated stuff that would never happen. Straight up he’s a pathological liar. Even all the town records are riddled with lies of dates and ownership. Pull the files. They are full of LIES!!!!

Now back to the matter at hand. THIS IS ABOUT THE TOWN AND CAMP BELKNAP NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW. The merits of my fight and this one will prevail but this is just about breaking or not breaking the law.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:58 PM   #63
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I have ZERO personal interest in this matter, I'm just an observer to the extreme drama surrounding such a small parcel of land.

Its truly disappointing to the world come to this.

We seem to have no common sense and no balance, just drama, endless drama and opportunists everywhere who are looking to take advantage of some situation to up their status.

I point no fingers at any party, these are general observations.

This is all just all so unfortunate and disheartening to see.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:10 PM   #64
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Default broken local and state law tuftonboro nh Camp Belknap

XCR-700

This is not a small piece of land but hundreds of acres and several separate parcels of land NOT grandfathered and with no Zoning exception heard with approval for Commercial use. This is about density with this camp reaching way beyond what a normal development would require. This is about pollution. This is about exploitation of conservation land. This is about complete disregard for the Low Density Zoning and the TAX PAYING neighbors while the camp tells lie after lie and spends tens of thousands of dollars of the taxpayers money while Camp Belknap PAYS ZERO IT TAXES.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:13 PM   #65
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Default Seth's pen wrote this! He calls it a nuisance

CAMP BELKNAP - AIR RIFLE RANGE OVERVIEW
04.24.20
OVERVIEW
YMCA Camp Belknap is developing a portion of West Camp to enhance Staff Housing and
Programming. As part of this development, Camp Belknap is relocating and redefining their
Riflery program. The current Riflery program utilizes .22 Rifles and is conducted in the core of
camp, where the noise can be a nuisance to nearby programming and sleeping quarters. Though
all proper protocols are met for safety, the colocation of this program to others is a constant
safety consideration. The new Riflery program will be sited at the periphery of camp, and will
transition to the use of Air Rifles, in lieu of .22s.

please answer this: if it is a nuisance for them why would it not be a nuisance for us?

Last edited by Randy Owen; 02-17-2021 at 03:15 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:21 PM   #66
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Hi XCR--the article raises a number of good points, as we hashed out months ago.

But this is a separate issue from whether the camp should be able to move their rifle range so the noise burden is shifted to their neighbors.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:40 PM   #67
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XCR-700

This is not a small piece of land but hundreds of acres and several separate parcels of land NOT grandfathered and with no Zoning exception heard with approval for Commercial use. This is about density with this camp reaching way beyond what a normal development would require. This is about pollution. This is about exploitation of conservation land. This is about complete disregard for the Low Density Zoning and the TAX PAYING neighbors while the camp tells lie after lie and spends tens of thousands of dollars of the taxpayers money while Camp Belknap PAYS ZERO IT TAXES.
Sorry, I understand to you its a lot of land, but to me its a small island on Winnnipesaukee dwarfed by so many others. And this debate seems out of proportion for what I am seeing.

But thats just an observation, I have no personal gain or loss in the outcome, just disappointment that these matters become so decisive to the community.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:50 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Owen View Post
CAMP BELKNAP - AIR RIFLE RANGE OVERVIEW
04.24.20
OVERVIEW
YMCA Camp Belknap is developing a portion of West Camp to enhance Staff Housing and
Programming. As part of this development, Camp Belknap is relocating and redefining their
Riflery program. The current Riflery program utilizes .22 Rifles and is conducted in the core of
camp, where the noise can be a nuisance to nearby programming and sleeping quarters. Though
all proper protocols are met for safety, the colocation of this program to others is a constant
safety consideration. The new Riflery program will be sited at the periphery of camp, and will
transition to the use of Air Rifles, in lieu of .22s.

please answer this: if it is a nuisance for them why would it not be a nuisance for us?
If this is NOT completely obvious I guess somebody needs to explain this to you.

First off do you have any idea the difference in noise produced by a .22LR round going off versus a pellet air gun? I won't even quantify that pellet gun as either a .177 or .22 caliber as it doesn't matter the caliber or size\speed of the projectile. The sound difference is substantial in that a .22LR has a very distinct crack to it when it goes off. Pellet gun because there is no propellent explosion so they are by nature significantly quieter. Not quite but almost as quiet as a .22LR with a silencer. Standing 20-30 feet away from a pellet gun you're likely to not hear it go off above the natural ambient noise of being outside compared to a .22LR which can be heard clearly from quite a distance.

Now the current range has no sound protection around it so any sound that is created has nothing to absorb it. Thus it would be as described a nuisance. The new range according to the meeting minutes will be surrounded by sound proofing and be safer with a more adequate backstop - so it stands to reason that the combination of converting to air rifles and having them used in an area where the noise is confined via noise barriers will be HIGHLY effective in all but eliminating any noise generated by the shooting range.

The use of noise barriers is nothing new, in fact many gun ranges today create berms around the perimeter of firing ranges to muffle sound pollution and quite effectively I might add.

So end of the day, you're argument is foolish. If you have a legit bone to pick with either the town or camp that's fine, but this particular item can be so easily picked apart that you loose any credibility trying to suggest this is going to make things worse when in fact it will greatly improve the reduction of ambient noise generated by gun fire on the property.

I'm not just saying this I have both a high powered .177 air rifle and a .22LR rifle.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:06 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Owen View Post
CAMP BELKNAP - AIR RIFLE RANGE OVERVIEW
04.24.20
OVERVIEW
YMCA Camp Belknap is developing a portion of West Camp to enhance Staff Housing and
Programming. As part of this development, Camp Belknap is relocating and redefining their
Riflery program. The current Riflery program utilizes .22 Rifles and is conducted in the core of
camp, where the noise can be a nuisance to nearby programming and sleeping quarters. Though
all proper protocols are met for safety, the colocation of this program to others is a constant
safety consideration. The new Riflery program will be sited at the periphery of camp, and will
transition to the use of Air Rifles, in lieu of .22s.

please answer this: if it is a nuisance for them why would it not be a nuisance for us?

Good Luck, hope you all resolve this soon and can find a way to live a low drama low stress life you should have if you live on the lake.

Last edited by XCR-700; 02-19-2021 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:12 PM   #70
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Hi XCR--the article raises a number of good points, as we hashed out months ago.

But this is a separate issue from whether the camp should be able to move their rifle range so the noise burden is shifted to their neighbors.
On an island that small I dont see how an air rifle range could have any significant impact on anyone.

You folks must have super human hearing.

I'd be lucky if I could hear them shooting at me with air rifles if I were setting targets at 50 yards, let alone in a house any distance further than that.

That must be the quietest island on Winnipesaukee for this to be a problem.

Safety and other matters may certainly be of greater concern, and truthfully I would assume 300 campers would make so much racket that you might wish you could get them to focus on shooting just to quiet them down ;-)
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:17 PM   #71
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Default Law, rules and regulations or system of law.... call it what you will

Dear Maxum,

I beg you to read this entire tread. This is at best partially about the noise of the guns. The noise is from massive groups of kids. The Camp has hundreds of acres. There is no reason they need to be on top of us. Though guns are not our wish this is about Camp Belknap flagrantly and deliberately breaking the law. They were put on notice through the court and continued. They asked for a hearing, got a hearing saying NO and still continue to try and break the law. The town too is breaking the law. Like it or not there are laws that we live by. This thread is only to make Camp Belknap accountable to the law. Nothing else.



IN THE THREAD
Now back to the matter at hand. THIS IS ABOUT THE TOWN AND CAMP BELKNAP NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW. The merits of my fight and this one will prevail but this is just about breaking or not breaking the law.

IN THE THREAD Seth Kassels stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

IN THE THREAD THE ZONING IS LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL just put your own family home in this situation please and thank you
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:19 PM   #72
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If this is NOT completely obvious I guess somebody needs to explain this to you.

First off do you have any idea the difference in noise produced by a .22LR round going off versus a pellet air gun? I won't even quantify that pellet gun as either a .177 or .22 caliber as it doesn't matter the caliber or size\speed of the projectile. The sound difference is substantial in that a .22LR has a very distinct crack to it when it goes off. Pellet gun because there is no propellent explosion so they are by nature significantly quieter. Not quite but almost as quiet as a .22LR with a silencer. Standing 20-30 feet away from a pellet gun you're likely to not hear it go off above the natural ambient noise of being outside compared to a .22LR which can be heard clearly from quite a distance.

Now the current range has no sound protection around it so any sound that is created has nothing to absorb it. Thus it would be as described a nuisance. The new range according to the meeting minutes will be surrounded by sound proofing and be safer with a more adequate backstop - so it stands to reason that the combination of converting to air rifles and having them used in an area where the noise is confined via noise barriers will be HIGHLY effective in all but eliminating any noise generated by the shooting range.

The use of noise barriers is nothing new, in fact many gun ranges today create berms around the perimeter of firing ranges to muffle sound pollution and quite effectively I might add.

So end of the day, you're argument is foolish. If you have a legit bone to pick with either the town or camp that's fine, but this particular item can be so easily picked apart that you loose any credibility trying to suggest this is going to make things worse when in fact it will greatly improve the reduction of ambient noise generated by gun fire on the property.

I'm not just saying this I have both a high powered .177 air rifle and a .22LR rifle.
I think most of this is what I was thinking and touching on in my last reply.

Other concerns aside noise from a well designed air rifle range should not be something to worry about or spend any significant amount of dollars on to have a lawyer fight. I would rather invest that money in a better boat or dock or anything than worry about this.

Again, maybe I'm missing some critical element???
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:26 PM   #73
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Dear Maxum,

I beg you to read this entire tread. This is at best partially about the noise of the guns. The noise is from massive groups of kids. The Camp has hundreds of acres. There is no reason they need to be on top of us. Though guns are not our wish this is about Camp Belknap flagrantly and deliberately breaking the law. They were put on notice through the court and continued. They asked for a hearing, got a hearing saying NO and still continue to try and break the law. The town too is breaking the law. Like it or not there are laws that we live by. This thread is only to make Camp Belknap accountable to the law. Nothing else.



IN THE THREAD
Now back to the matter at hand. THIS IS ABOUT THE TOWN AND CAMP BELKNAP NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW. The merits of my fight and this one will prevail but this is just about breaking or not breaking the law.

IN THE THREAD Seth Kassels stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

IN THE THREAD THE ZONING IS LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL just put your own family home in this situation please and thank you
How many "hundreds of acres" does the camp have?

If they have that much land, is there no way to work with them to relocate the range to a mutually agreed location,.

And if they have "hundreds of acres" why is 300 or even more kids a problem. One kid per acre can only make so much noise.

This becomes more confusing with each post. I'm almost sorry I read it at all, and rapidly becoming sorry I posted anything as it seems way too dramatized to get sucked into,,,

I must be missing something more compelling about all this.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:35 PM   #74
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XCR-700

This plan moving the range thousands of feet to an area we never hear the riffles or massive amounts of screaming kids. It is not on island but very near the water where noise travels. The move put the rifle range on conservation land that they some how just took out of conservation. apart and aside this is a zoned low density residential AND a separate lot and again that has never been recognized as commercial and again was in conservation. If ever a residential lot is to be used commercially it is only with special exception with a town hearing. No hearing has been heard. No one has had the opportunity to voice their concerns in a formal zoning hearing. The law requires the zoning board to confirm there is no adverse effects.

I assume you are a land owner. Seth Kassels, the director of the camp, stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

So I beg you to consider your own home and investment. You are located with low density residential all around you. A commercial entity whom has the land in conservation just up and takes it out of conservation and then builds a firing range proposing hundred of kids screaming and yelling 8 am till 8 pm. I ask you, how would you react?

Thank you, Randy Owen
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:40 PM   #75
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How many "hundreds of acres" does the camp have?

If they have that much land, is there no way to work with them to relocate the range to a mutually agreed location,. EXACTLY!!!!! THEY HAVE A FEW GRANDFATHERED LOTS. IF THEY WERE ON THEM THIS WOULD BE OKAY TO MOVE BUT NOT EXPAND. THEY NOW ARE OFF THE GRANFATHERED LOTS AND NEXT TO OUR BIGGEST ASSETS AND DISTROYING OUR VALUES AND NEST EGG

And if they have "hundreds of acres" why is 300 or even more kids a problem. One kid per acre can only make so much noise.

This becomes more confusing with each post. I'm almost sorry I read it at all, and rapidly becoming sorry I posted anything as it seems way too dramatized to get sucked into,,,

I must be missing something more compelling about all this.

If they have that much land, is there no way to work with them to relocate the range to a mutually agreed location,. EXACTLY!!!!! THEY HAVE A FEW GRANDFATHERED LOTS. IF THEY WERE ON THEM THIS WOULD BE OKAY TO MOVE BUT NOT EXPAND. THEY NOW ARE OFF THE GRANFATHERED LOTS AND NEXT TO OUR BIGGEST ASSETS AND DISTROYING OUR VALUES AND NEST EGG
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:47 PM   #76
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XCR-700

This plan moving the range thousands of feet to an area we never hear the riffles or massive amounts of screaming kids. It is not on island but very near the water where noise travels. The move put the rifle range on conservation land that they some how just took out of conservation. apart and aside this is a zoned low density residential AND a separate lot and again that has never been recognized as commercial and again was in conservation. If ever a residential lot is to be used commercially it is only with special exception with a town hearing. No hearing has been heard. No one has had the opportunity to voice their concerns in a formal zoning hearing. The law requires the zoning board to confirm there is no adverse effects.

I assume you are a land owner. Seth Kassels, the director of the camp, stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

So I beg you to consider your own home and investment. You are located with low density residential all around you. A commercial entity whom has the land in conservation just up and takes it out of conservation and then builds a firing range proposing hundred of kids screaming and yelling 8 am till 8 pm. I ask you, how would you react?

Thank you, Randy Owen
Lots of good and interesting points, but from what I read, I appears that the camp and range have been there a long time. If thats the case, then it should probably remain. If thats not the case and its new or proposed then we have a different matter.

Its like the family that moves in next to an airport and then says not only do we not want you to allow jets to land here, we also want you to rein in your operation. Hard to jump on that band wagon. Camps near water with lots of kids are a Winnipesaukee tradition and across the country. If you dont want to be near one, dont by that land. You have a choice.

Again, if they were not there and first, thats a different matter, but thats not what I seem to be reading???

Either way, best of luck to you, it is just way more drama than I would deal with, I would be looking for another property if I were that troubled about my neighbors. Life is just way too short for all the stress I am seeing in this matter. I'm stressed just reading about it.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:54 PM   #77
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If they have that much land, is there no way to work with them to relocate the range to a mutually agreed location,. EXACTLY!!!!! THEY HAVE A FEW GRANDFATHERED LOTS. IF THEY WERE ON THEM THIS WOULD BE OKAY TO MOVE BUT NOT EXPAND. THEY NOW ARE OFF THE GRANFATHERED LOTS AND NEXT TO OUR BIGGEST ASSETS AND DISTROYING OUR VALUES AND NEST EGG
Well again too much drama,

If they are violating laws and standards thats one matter.

And your worrying about future value of a "nest egg" you just bought is a totally different matter.

Too many issues at work here to cleanly sort out, too many competing interests.

they should be held accountable to adhere to laws and standards, but not prevented from reasonable uses of their land.

And you or anyone should not be buying "nest eggs" hoping to control whats around you to increase your value.

This all smacks of too many bad actors to ever fully resolve.

I think I should probably stop reading this thread.

Hope you both find a middle ground and peaceful resolution.

ATB
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:06 PM   #78
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this is the from the planning board meeting. seth kassels director of the camp acknowledged a staging of kids waiting and stated 300. there are also 117 employees too. winnie shores has the nuisance as it is now and complains. the camp themselves characterized the rifle range and a nuisance.

Pricestavern,
I assume you are a land owner. Seth Kassels stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

THE ZONING IS LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL just put your own family home in this situation please and thank you
Randy - You are completely misconstruing the numbers. There are 300 kids in the camp (ie the Property). Again, the number of kids likely to be at the air rifle range is about 12-20 max. Your calculation of 'even 75%' is misleading. The number is 10-20 kids, with the likelihood that it will be at the lower range based on previous use at the existing rifle range.

Additionally, the existing rifle range is not open all day long. There are set times when a camper can be there.

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Old 02-17-2021, 06:13 PM   #79
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randy - you are completely misconstruing the numbers. There are 300 kids in the camp (ie the property). Again, the number of kids likely to be at the air rifle range is about 12-20 max. Your calculation of 'even 75%' is misleading. The number is 10-20 kids, with the likelihood that it will be at the lower range based on previous use at the existing rifle range.

Additionally, the existing rifle range is not open all day long. There are set times when a camper can be there.


no and wrong.

i asked and re-asked. Seth kassels said it twice and i was shocked. He said “as many as 300” might be there and 8 am till 10 pm as this is a big attraction and very big part of the camp. My initial concern was with pot smoking councilors and guns. He flatly refused drug testing. We smell the pot. I went to college and it was on the unh campus but not around guns or people resosible for young children
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:50 PM   #80
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Dear Maxum,

I beg you to read this entire tread. This is at best partially about the noise of the guns. The noise is from massive groups of kids. The Camp has hundreds of acres. There is no reason they need to be on top of us. Though guns are not our wish this is about Camp Belknap flagrantly and deliberately breaking the law. They were put on notice through the court and continued. They asked for a hearing, got a hearing saying NO and still continue to try and break the law. The town too is breaking the law. Like it or not there are laws that we live by. This thread is only to make Camp Belknap accountable to the law. Nothing else.



IN THE THREAD
Now back to the matter at hand. THIS IS ABOUT THE TOWN AND CAMP BELKNAP NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW. The merits of my fight and this one will prevail but this is just about breaking or not breaking the law.

IN THE THREAD Seth Kassels stated that all 300 kids could be there not me, and we know they absolutely way over book this number. Yet if SETH dramatized this just to aggravate me and he's off 50 by percent or even 75 percent there is absolutely staging and kids lined up. So do you think even 25 percent of Seth's state kids (which is 75 kids) is reasonable next to your low density zoned house?? Hell even 30?????

IN THE THREAD THE ZONING IS LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL just put your own family home in this situation please and thank you
Dear Mr. Owen

I actually have read the whole thread.

Did you not notice that I have a place on an island, much like yours with not one but TWO YMCA camps near by? I'm betting that they house way more than 300 kids each at any time during the summer on less property. So I believe that I have some level of understanding of what it is like to have a summer camp near by. Also how much noise they generate. I hear lots of kids screaming and having a great time. They used to shoot up there I don't think they do anymore but either way I don't mind the sound of gun fire. I have no problems whatsoever with the kids camps operation because quite frankly for the kids attending, and the older ones who work there it is an experience of a lifetime. I can't imagine taking that away from any of them.

Far as your repeated assertions of law breaking, that is up to the courts to decide, he said, she said, you throw out a lot of assertions and opinions but fact is what matters in a court of law. What your opinion or interpretation of "the law" and how it applied, followed or adhered to is just that your opinion. Others may come to a different conclusion. That is for a judge to decide and I have all the confidence that is indeed what will happen here.

As far as my opinion goes what I see going on here is that you sir have a problem with the camp. Why I don't know or care but thus far I've seen nothing of substance being brought to light. The camp owns a total of 288.132 acres scattered across multiple properties and two islands. It seems perfectly reasonable that a average density of approximately 1 kid per acre is not unreasonable assuming a total attendance of 300. I'm quite sure when you occupy your half of Farm Island the person to acre density is far greater so should you also be held to the same standard? How about all the added noise and waves from the boat traffic you create personally? Shall we go on and hold YOU to the same standards?

I am not here to defend Camp Belknap, but I also find it hard to crucify them based on what appear to be rather outlandish claims which have not been substantiated by anyone of consequence. If that were the case there would be something far more engaging to discuss.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:17 PM   #81
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no and wrong.

i asked and re-asked. Seth kassels said it twice and i was shocked. He said “as many as 300” might be there and 8 am till 10 pm as this is a big attraction and very big part of the camp. My initial concern was with pot smoking councilors and guns. He flatly refused drug testing. We smell the pot. I went to college and it was on the unh campus but not around guns or people resosible for young children
Yeah, after painfully reading this thread, I could use some pot right about now
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:11 PM   #82
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It’s probably time for this thread to be padlocked.....
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:12 PM   #83
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Yeah, after painfully reading this thread, I could use some pot right about now
it is complicated. i apologize, yet all true
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:16 PM   #84
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It’s probably time for this thread to be padlocked.....
it is complicated and painful for us too. sorry please see attached
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:06 AM   #85
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...... Hey Randy ...... is it safe to say you will be moving a portable sawmill out to Farm Island once the snow starts to melt and will be milling a few of those beautiful old Farm Island trees into lumber for use on the island?
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:41 AM   #86
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Camp Belknap established in 1903. Purchases 7.5 acres of Farm Island from the Winchester's in the 1950's. Person buys remaining acreage from the Winchester's in 2020. Person brings a hailstorm of legal problems to town and Camp.
Sounds like person should not have purchased land so close to the Camp!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:06 AM   #87
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Maybe this thread should be relegated to the same pile as the one complaining about the VK, and “why won’t they accept plastic?”
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:27 AM   #88
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Camp Belknap established in 1903. Purchases 7.5 acres of Farm Island from the Winchester's in the 1950's. Person buys remaining acreage from the Winchester's in 2020. Person brings a hailstorm of legal problems to town and Camp.
Sounds like person should not have purchased land so close to the Camp!
Completely incorrect. Person puts a deposit on the 13.5 acres of land and meets with seth kassels and transparently shares his families dreams and goals for farm island. person offers a plan to allow the camp to put a portion of land in absolute conservation. person offers to help camp with it's use of farm island. Then Seth Kassels organizes a miss led and misinformed cult and riles up an entire neighborhood and the entire town with a pack o lies and fabrications. This triggers tons of legal costs and studies. Studies prove the following:
1. Seth Kassles never went to ZBA to put a commercial use on Farm Island
2. Seth Kassel pummeled what the loon society consider northern lake winnie best loon nesting site
3. Seth Kassel violated shore line protection law
4. Seth Kassels did not get a building permit
5. seth kaessls I legally built tent platforms on farm island
6. and tons more all cost person, the town and various other organizations money.
7. Seth kassels sues the town and the town and person pay legal fees and WIN
8. seth kassels now is again exploiting low density residential land and trying to destroy neighborhood values. a superior court judge issues a stay order and seth kaessels ignores it. this triggers more law suits and legal work costing the neighbors and the the town tax payers money.
9. Persons intended use of farm island has ZERO NON COMPLIANCES WITH LOCAL AND SATATE LAWS
person further explores lie seth kassels actions and learns of an instance were seth kassles cut a lagoon and release thousands and thousands of gallons of human waste toward a neighborhood labeled winnie shores and ultimately RIGHT INTO LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE!!! Former employees report that summer a huge increase with illness with the young campers and the camp refuses to provide medical records proving otherwise. Seth's wife controls all medical records and it does not appear a hospital is involved which person believe should be.
person lived was on cow island for over 50 years. person respected camp idlewild, camp belknap and camp northwoods. Person has watched camp belknap expand for well over 50 years. present expansions are exponential

now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest?
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:49 AM   #89
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Default tree farming/ as it was circa 1906

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...... Hey Randy ...... is it safe to say you will be moving a portable sawmill out to Farm Island once the snow starts to melt and will be milling a few of those beautiful old Farm Island trees into lumber for use on the island?
the saw mill is coming. We have looked hard at the threes. While there are absolutely some stunning trees on farm island there is a bunch of bull pines that must be dealt with. We will need some choice wood for our cottages and then hope to weed out the bull pine. There will be a focus on maple growth for our maple syrup hobby and a desire to grow and sell some Christmas trees. Both will need a canopy modification for sun light but nothing that will harm the esthetics off a beautiful tree stand.

Please see the photos "as it was" these are from the early 1900s. farm island got its name because it was a goat farm. though all the island were clear cut in and around that time farm is particularly baron as the goats ate everything in sight.
stay tune for more history and restoration of the cottage to it's original grandeur
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:58 AM   #90
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no and wrong.

i asked and re-asked. Seth kassels said it twice and i was shocked. He said “as many as 300” might be there and 8 am till 10 pm as this is a big attraction and very big part of the camp. My initial concern was with pot smoking councilors and guns. He flatly refused drug testing. We smell the pot. I went to college and it was on the unh campus but not around guns or people resosible for young children
First off they are not going to be shooting guns at 10pm....And they certainly are not going to have 300 there at once. 300 campers on the entire property yes, but not all at the range. Total drama Randy....And as far as the counselors smoking pot, who doesn't these days (well actually I don't so exclude me from that statement)? Was the camp even in session this past year? I doubt it. Lawrence and Nokomis were not.

Like Maxum above, I have been an islander for many years and live in close proximity to 2 camps. I can see the Camp Lawrence dock from my front door. For years I was on Mark, across from their beach. I could hear their rifle range daily, and honestly hardly ever even thought about it. Hearing that they are converting to air rifles makes it even less of a nuisance. I can guarantee that although Lawrence probably has a larger census, there was never 300 kids at the range. The campers are broken up into groups and circulating through different activities all day long.

Not sure what you hope to gain by pleading your case here. Nobody has any say or control over this. I see 3 options available to you:

1.Lawyer up, spend the money and fight them if you believe that you have been wronged.
2. Find a way to coexist and stop the drama.
3. Sell and move on.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:04 AM   #91
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Well based on what I see here it appears to be a common story played out time and time again.

Some area of desirable has a pre-established usage partially residential and partially other.

The “other” usage is in decline, but the owners have hopes and plans for revitalization and maybe some growth. This plan may or may not be known or announced/communicated to anyone else as business matters are usually close-hold until the last possible moment, thats just a common business practice.

The residential usage portion of the land in question has been held for a very long time and has fallen into disrepair and the owners finally put it up for sale.

Potential buyers of the residential parcel see opportunity and future value in the parcel and buy with a hope/expectation that the other parcel will stay as is or will eventually fade away.

When buyers of the residential parcel realize that revitalization and some growth are planned for the other parcel, they develop concerns about the impact to their planned usage of the residential parcel and their hopes/plans of increased future value of the property and thus setting up a battle between the 2 parties.

This exact situation is a constant happening across the country where people buy homes next to failing gas station/garages, small businesses, airports. They expect the business will remain as is or decline and the site will revert back to an uninhabited undeveloped parcel or will become something that they see as acceptable. But when the preexisting usage is revitalized and potentially expanded, the new home owners vision is shattered and the lawyers take over. It then becomes a battle of will and money and time. Who can outlast who. The threshold of reasonable gets twisted past the point of recognition and the community is divided in the protracted debate about what is right or wrong. There will be a winner, but the biggest winner will be the lawyers.

I would like to say that potential buyers of the residential property in these situations should not be making such purchases, but in truth if they are willing to fight to their last breath, spend crazy amounts money on lawyers, fight as long as it takes, and do virtually anything necessary, they may very well be successful and it can pay off with huge rewards. Just look at the insane situation with the shut down of the Ames Farm boat ramp. That was a preexisting usage for decades, and it was a benefit to countless untold people. One of the most beautiful and easy to use spots for day boaters to launch a boat, now lost because of one new abutting homeowner that wanted to change what was. So it can be done. Not a big fan of this process or the outcome(s), but it is how the system works. Money, time and stamina very often win out over other competing measures/interests/desires.

It will be interesting to see how this one ends.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #92
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Not sure what you hope to gain by pleading your case here. Nobody has any say or control over this. I see 3 options available to you:

1.Lawyer up, spend the money and fight them if you believe that you have been wronged.
2. Find a way to coexist and stop the drama.
3. Sell and move on.
And thats the bottom line!

Very well stated Codeman.

Time to park the drama, nothing to be gained by it.

Good Luck to all who are actually involved, I hope you can find a reasonable solution/settlement to all this.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:16 AM   #93
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First off they are not going to be shooting guns at 10pm....And they certainly are not going to have 300 there at once. 300 campers on the entire property yes, but not all at the range. Total drama Randy....And as far as the counselors smoking pot, who doesn't these days (well actually I don't so exclude me from that statement)? Was the camp even in session this past year? I doubt it. Lawrence and Nokomis were not.

Like Maxum above, I have been an islander for many years and live in close proximity to 2 camps. I can see the Camp Lawrence dock from my front door. For years I was on Mark, across from their beach. I could hear their rifle range daily, and honestly hardly ever even thought about it. Hearing that they are converting to air rifles makes it even less of a nuisance. I can guarantee that although Lawrence probably has a larger census, there was never 300 kids at the range. The campers are broken up into groups and circulating through different activities all day long.

Not sure what you hope to gain by pleading your case here. Nobody has any say or control over this. I see 3 options available to you:

1.Lawyer up, spend the money and fight them if you believe that you have been wronged.
2. Find a way to coexist and stop the drama.
3. Sell and move on.
the examples you offer are grandfathered. i respect all that was as it was. this new proposal moves the range 600 feet from many homes where is was not. the camp own hundreds of acres and they have many options to avoid this nuisance/burden on these homes. facts are we are lawyered up. we have a superior court judge that agrees and she issues orders and the camp ignores the orders and the court.

while you offer some reasonable assumptions please answer this. is the firing range you hear 600 feet from you? and if it is not how would you feel if the camps you are surrounded by identified the own firing range as a "nuisance" to them and that they are moving it tens of thousands of feet from their sleeping quarters and their programing area to 600 feet from you?

i only ask you fully understand while you comment. please and thank you

and remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:20 AM   #94
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the examples you offer are grandfathered. i respect all that was as it was. this new proposal moves the range 600 feet from many homes where is was not. the camp own hundreds of acres and they have many options to avoid this nuisance/burden on these homes. facts are we are lawyered up. we have a superior court judge that agrees and she issues orders and the camp ignores the orders and the court.

while you offer some reasonable assumptions please answer this. is the firing range you hear 600 feet from you? and if it is not how would you feel if the camps you are surrounded by identified the own firing range as a "nuisance" to them and that they are moving it tens of thousands of feet from their sleeping quarters and their programing area to 600 feet from you?

i only ask you fully understand while you comment. please and thank you

and remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:58 AM   #95
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Well based on what I see here it appears to be a common story played out time and time again.

Some area of desirable has a pre-established usage partially residential and partially other.

The “other” usage is in decline, but the owners have hopes and plans for revitalization and maybe some growth. This plan may or may not be known or announced/communicated to anyone else as business matters are usually close-hold until the last possible moment, thats just a common business practice.

The residential usage portion of the land in question has been held for a very long time and has fallen into disrepair and the owners finally put it up for sale.

Potential buyers of the residential parcel see opportunity and future value in the parcel and buy with a hope/expectation that the other parcel will stay as is or will eventually fade away.

When buyers of the residential parcel realize that revitalization and some growth are planned for the other parcel, they develop concerns about the impact to their planned usage of the residential parcel and their hopes/plans of increased future value of the property and thus setting up a battle between the 2 parties.

This exact situation is a constant happening across the country where people buy homes next to failing gas station/garages, small businesses, airports. They expect the business will remain as is or decline and the site will revert back to an uninhabited undeveloped parcel or will become something that they see as acceptable. But when the preexisting usage is revitalized and potentially expanded, the new home owners vision is shattered and the lawyers take over. It then becomes a battle of will and money and time. Who can outlast who. The threshold of reasonable gets twisted past the point of recognition and the community is divided in the protracted debate about what is right or wrong. There will be a winner, but the biggest winner will be the lawyers.

I would like to say that potential buyers of the residential property in these situations should not be making such purchases, but in truth if they are willing to fight to their last breath, spend crazy amounts money on lawyers, fight as long as it takes, and do virtually anything necessary, they may very well be successful and it can pay off with huge rewards. Just look at the insane situation with the shut down of the Ames Farm boat ramp. That was a preexisting usage for decades, and it was a benefit to countless untold people. One of the most beautiful and easy to use spots for day boaters to launch a boat, now lost because of one new abutting homeowner that wanted to change what was. So it can be done. Not a big fan of this process or the outcome(s), but it is how the system works. Money, time and stamina very often win out over other competing measures/interests/desires.

It will be interesting to see how this one ends.
i thank you so much for the careful thought. one issue of clarification though with "pre-established usage partially residential and partially other". this is only a grandfathered use. grandfather uses remains, provided however, they are on the same lot and no expansion. in this case camp belknap is trying to develop on a separate low density residential lot and take it out of conservation land use. concom has allowed this and shame on them. for the record they a removing a firing range next to the majority of their activities and in a grandfathered lot/status. they themselves identify it a nuisance. then in there words, they are moving it to the periphery of their land and in my words to rid themselves of the nuisance and put it on the burden of others. with regards to expansion they are doubling the size of the firing range. on two counts, among many others, they are in direct violation of the laws we live by. not to mention the defy a superior court judges specific orders. they filed a motion for clarification and the judge reaffirms her orders and again they try to violate it.


and PLEASE remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #96
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the examples you offer are grandfathered. i respect all that was as it was. this new proposal moves the range 600 feet from many homes where is was not. the camp own hundreds of acres and they have many options to avoid this nuisance/burden on these homes. facts are we are lawyered up. we have a superior court judge that agrees and she issues orders and the camp ignores the orders and the court.

while you offer some reasonable assumptions please answer this. is the firing range you hear 600 feet from you? and if it is not how would you feel if the camps you are surrounded by identified the own firing range as a "nuisance" to them and that they are moving it tens of thousands of feet from their sleeping quarters and their programing area to 600 feet from you?

i only ask you fully understand while you comment. please and thank you

and remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
Sleeping quarters? Do you expect them to be shooting in the dark? During sleeping hours?
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #97
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Default Winnie shores

This is where seth kassels cut a sewage lagoon and sent thousands and thousands of gallons of human waste. To them and then to lake winnepasaukee! We have the photography. This was at the direction of seth kassles
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:09 PM   #98
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This is where seth kassels cut a sewage lagoon and sent thousands and thousands of gallons of human waste. To them and then to lake winnepasaukee! We have the photography. This was at the direction of seth kassles
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:39 PM   #99
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the examples you offer are grandfathered. i respect all that was as it was. this new proposal moves the range 600 feet from many homes where is was not. the camp own hundreds of acres and they have many options to avoid this nuisance/burden on these homes. facts are we are lawyered up. we have a superior court judge that agrees and she issues orders and the camp ignores the orders and the court.

while you offer some reasonable assumptions please answer this. is the firing range you hear 600 feet from you? and if it is not how would you feel if the camps you are surrounded by identified the own firing range as a "nuisance" to them and that they are moving it tens of thousands of feet from their sleeping quarters and their programing area to 600 feet from you?

i only ask you fully understand while you comment. please and thank you

and remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
Well I think you have resolved the public matter you placed on the forum, by stating you have chosen option #1.

Not sure there is much more to share or discuss with the members here until something else happens.

That said, if the rifle range is one of the primary concerns, I think its you who should stop and understand what you are saying and doing.

If you bought this property knowing there was a pre-existing usage of a kids camp with a .22 rifle range on this small island, and the camp owners have announced that they will be transiting from the .22 rifles to air rifles but will moving the range to a new location that will be approximately 600 feet from your property, that would seem to me to be a MAJOR plus for you. There is no where on an island that small that the .22's would not make much more noise than the airguns will make at 600 feet from your property. This to your advantage!

You should seriously consider saving "your kids money" and take that huge win and be tremendously thankful they dont just say never mind we will just keep the .22 range where it is and shoot all day all summer.

I would be shocked to find any reasonable person would be bothered by a small air rifle range at a distance of 600 feet. You would have to be wearing bionic hearing aids to have this exceed the background noise of any given Saturday on Winnipesaukee. Remember this is not some isolated environment where you can get away from the sounds of people, boats and human generated noise.

You might want to go and listen to an air rifle at 600 feet in a place that has any normal background noise, and do some soul searching if this is worth all you seem to be putting yourself through and all the money the lawyers are making off you the town and the camp. Seems to me that everyone is losing in this battle based on what you have posted here.

I was recently in a gun shop where one of the sales reps was showing off a full auto CO2 air gun to a customer and he let off a burst of 30 rounds into a commercial air gun trap. I was standing 4 feet from him with my back turned to him and yes I was startled, but only because I didnt expect it. If I was 20 feet from him and outside I doubt I would have even flinched or have taken much noticed. There is no way you could hear a dozen full auto air guns shooting all at the same time if my 3.5 HP push lawn mower were between you and them. Air guns just dont generate that much noise, and certainly nothing even closely comparable to .22 rifles if they are using common high velocity ammo.

Also consider that if you had neighbors move next to you and their lot line put them much closer than 600 feet, and they had half a dozen kids that wanted to shoot air rifles with their friends in the back yard all day all summer, I doubt you could do much about that. In most rural communities usage of air guns is rarely prohibited.

You should really take a breath and be honest and make sure this is why you are concerned about the camp. It just cant possibly be worth all that is going on.

This assumes the bulk of your concerns have been communicated here. Other matters not disclosed may result in a different set of observations,,,

ATB
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Old 02-18-2021, 01:12 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Randy Owen View Post
i thank you so much for the careful thought. one issue of clarification though with "pre-established usage partially residential and partially other". this is only a grandfathered use. grandfather uses remains, provided however, they are on the same lot and no expansion. in this case camp belknap is trying to develop on a separate low density residential lot and take it out of conservation land use. concom has allowed this and shame on them. for the record they a removing a firing range next to the majority of their activities and in a grandfathered lot/status. they themselves identify it a nuisance. then in there words, they are moving it to the periphery of their land and in my words to rid themselves of the nuisance and put it on the burden of others. with regards to expansion they are doubling the size of the firing range. on two counts, among many others, they are in direct violation of the laws we live by. not to mention the defy a superior court judges specific orders. they filed a motion for clarification and the judge reaffirms her orders and again they try to violate it.


and PLEASE remember this: now i beg you to understand my less then perfect domainer. while doing so please ask yourself the following: when was the last time you let one hundred thousand dollars of your children's money slip through you hands on another selfish quest? or as we call it sethfish quest
Again too many issues are being addressed in one thread.

If the alleged violations of zoning are an attempt to develop "for sale residential housing" that is in a conservation area, and that is not housing for use by the camp, this is its own matter and one the state of NH should be taking up. Not sure how that ever becomes a private matter or how this could possibly result in you spending any of your kids money on legal action. Stop wasting your money on this and call state IG or your reps.

Now if you are talking about the camp developing housing for use by the campers or staff, is a very different matter, and one would hope not a problem for anyone. How is this any different than putting up fire watch towers, or warming huts, or housing for rangers in conservation land in state and national parks. Its not something most people would object to.

As for the rifle range, I suspect they used poor judgment in selecting those words. That may also have been written before the plan to change from .22 rifles to air rifles. That being said please see my previous post about air rifles, I think the proposed air rifle range is a non-issue. But if after observing an air rifle being fired in a location with any reasonable background noise,you then still have concerns and objections that 600 feet is not enough buffer for you, it would seem to be an easy to resolve matter with the camp to discuss options to add buffer or add landscaping elements to reduce the noise transmission. But hanging your hat on that concern and expending even one dollar on lawyers over this just appear futile and petty. Life is too short for this to be a major issue for anyone, it just doesnt make any sense.

Again, would your rather they simply said forget it and just continued using the .22 rifles at the current range, that would be the real tragedy, and I can 100% assure you, you will notice the .22 rifles far more even in that old location, than you will notice the air guns at 600 feet.

Be careful what you seek, you might just get it.
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