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Laconia man appealing court's order to pay legal fees of Governors Island Assoc.

LACONIA — A city resident whose property is included by deed in the Governors Island Association is appealing the court's decision to award legal fees to the club after a prolonged dispute about what he could do with his property.

Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O'Neill awarded the association $45,713 and earlier this week ordered an $50,000 attachment on any property Richard Homsi owns in the state.

The war between Homsi and the Governors Island Association began in 2012 when Homsi decided to add a cottage to the top of a garage he wanted to build on his property, which is located just on the Laconia side of the bridge that leads to the island, which is in Gilford.

Although the garage and cottage were allowable under Laconia's zoning ordinances, the unattached structure was not allowed according to the deed restrictions and covenants associated with belonging to the Governors Island Association.

The decision to include the property in the GIA was made by a previous owner but, typically in law, deed restrictions trump zoning ordinances.

Unable to present the governing board of the GIA an acceptable plan for a garage and a cottage, the GIA took him to court, initially getting a cease and desist order on the construction and later an order to tear down what he had already built.

The final judgment also granted $45,713 in legal fees to the association.

Homsi has appealed the decision to award legal fees to the N.H. Supreme Court, asking the court to decide whether or not the trial court committed a reversible error by finding the petitioned had no duty to mitigate its damages that led to the legal fees and whether or not the trial court had an obligation to inform Homsi that even though he belongs to the GIA he was still subjected to paying the legal fees incurred by his actions and the subsequent suit they filed against him.

 
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