Fredericks make case for appeal of boat storage decision

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
MEREDITH — Douglas and Leslyee Frederick, who own and operate the American Police Motorycyle Museum, are seeking an appeal of an administrative decision that found boat storage not to be an approved use on the property.
The town denied their original appeal as not having been filed in a timely manner, but they maintain that the town had not informed them of the decision in time and, once they learned of it, they did file within the 30-day period allowed for appeals.
Doug Frederick said he had received permission from the town four years ago to allow Meredith Marine to store boats on his property, and the company has been storing boats there since. That changed on Nov. 15, 2015, after he had informed Town Manager Phil Warren of “an incident on 11-16-15 that occurred on my property that was cause for serious concern and which I firmly believe was a clearly stated Meredith Zoning Violation.”
According to Frederick, the code enforcement officer arrived and told him “he was not sure if boat parking was allowed on my property.” Frederick said he sent two emails to find out “what his orders were as to boat parking on the property. At no time did [anyone] answer those emails and provide direction ... regarding boat parking.”
It was not until September 2016 that he heard from the town. Planning Board Chairman William Bayard then told him that boat parking was not allowed.
Frederick went to the next Planning Board meeting to address the issue, and the town planner said “water recreation/storage” as listed for the Meredith Central Business District applied only to water park items such as bumper boats and water slides.
In early 2017, Frederick received additional certified letters “in which the definition of ‘Water Recreation/Storage’ was changed from Water Park items to the storage of Lagoons, Ponds and Water itself in the Central Business District of Meredith.”
The town ordered the Fredericks to remove the boats stored on their property by May 1, and, through their attorney, William Woodbury, they asked for an extension to Aug. 1, which coincided with the term of the contract with Meredith Marine. They received no response from the town and Woodbury followed up on May 8. The town responded by email on May 18, saying a decision had been issued. Woodbury responded the next day, saying they had not received a copy of the decision.
An email trail shows that the town officials “Have no idea what happened to the letter.”
Doug Frederick said that, apart from that incident, the town had communicated through certified mail, and he had been diligent about responding within a day or two of receiving information from the town.
He learned of the adverse decision through his attorney in late May, and filed an appeal on June 19, which Woodbury maintains was within the 30-day period after they learned that a decision had been made. Woodbury noted that the 30-day period fell on June 17, a Saturday, and that state statutes agree that, when a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, it is extended to the first business day after that, which puts June 19 within the filing deadline.
The town denied the request as arriving past the filing deadline, and subsequently denied the Fredericks’ request for a variance to allow boat storage on the property.
Their current appeal is based on “fundamental fairness” and their right to due process.
“Neither the applicants nor any member of the public had any way of knowing a decision ever existed until May 18,” Woodbury wrote.
Meredith Marine is allowed to continue storing boats on the property through the appeal process.

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 198

Motorcycle wrecks leave 1 charged, 2 seriously hurt

LACONIA — Police and fire department personnel responded to two accidents involving motorcycles on Sunday. One accident resulted in two people being airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, while the other led to an arrest.

The first incident occurred at around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, when a motorcycle collided with a vehicle that was turning onto North Main Street. Police report that a car driven by Robert Slavin, 75, of Laconia, pulled out from Blueberry Lane when it struck the motorcycle. Both the motorcycle operator, Gary Ames, 47, and passenger Danielle Colp, 58, both of Laconia, were thrown into the roadway and sustained serious injuries. They were initially transported to Lakes Region General Hospital, then airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon.

Emergency personnel were called again at around 7 p.m. for another motorcycle crash, this time for a motorcycle that went off Rollercoaster Road and into a wall. The motorcyclist, Terry Whipple, 51, of Woodstock, was arrested on the charge of driving under the influence. He was released on bail and is due to appear in Laconia District Court on Oct. 5.

– Adam Drapcho

09 18 Motorcycle Crash North Main

Two people suffered life-threatening injuries when the motorcycle they were riding on was struck by a red Hyundai Sonata exiting Blueberry Lane onto North Main Street early Sunday evening. The female passenger on the motorcycle was thrown beneath the blue Chevy pickup truck that was stopped to turn left into Blueberry Lane. The driver of the car can be seen at far right leaning against the rock wall being monitored by EMS with the Laconia Fire Department. His leashed Sheltie dog that was in the car with him can be seen lying behind him. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 252

Campton principal: School is safe

By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN

CAMPTON — The principal of Campton Elementary School has assured students and parents that the school environment is safe following an incident involving a student's use of social media on Sunday which prompted intervention by local police.

Principal Jim George declined to offer further comment on Tuesday, other than to say that he was satisfied with the way the situation was handled. 

On Monday, George distributed a message to parents in the school community: "There was a posting on SnapChat made on Sunday evening by one of our students that was inappropriate and was viewed by some students and found to be concerning. Steps were taken immediately this morning by administration and staff to reassure that all students and staff were very safe in our building. Campton Police Department was immediately contacted for assistance with the situation. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our number one priority and we continue to be vigilant."

George said that several parents had contacted him with concerns. Meanwhile, others were distributing their own reports of the incident, including one which alleged that a student had come to the school armed with a gun. Campton Police Chief Christopher Warn said no such thing had occurred.

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Local News
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