CONCORD — After nearly four years, the New Hampshire Supreme Court may brought Richard Homsi's legal feud with the Governor's Island Club Inc. nearer an end by upholding a court order requiring him to remove the foundation of a detached garage, which he built contrary to covenants imposed by the club.
Homsi's property at 84 Summit Ave. lies on the mainland side of the bridge leading to Governor's Island in Laconia. However, in 1992 a prior owner became a member of the Governor's Island Club and subjected the property to its covenants and restrictions of the club, which are attached to the deed. In April 2012, Homsi ran afoul of the covenant prohibiting detached living units when he proposed building a detached garage topped by a cottage to create additional living space.
When the club objected, Homsi began construction without its approval and the litigation began. In December 2013, the Belknap County Superior Court ruled that Homsi, despite conforming to the Laconia zoning ordinance, was in violation of the covenants and awarded the club nearly $46,000 in court costs and legal fees. But, the court stayed enforcement of its order, requiring Homsi to remove the foundation of the garage to allow him an opportunity to present a plan to the club that complied with its covenants.
When none of the plans conformed to the covenants, the Governor's Island Club returned to Belknap County Superior Court, where, in June 2015, Justice James D. O'Neill III ordered Homsi to remove the foundation from his property and awarded the club $31,158 in additional costs. Homsi appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Governor's Island Club acted in bad faith when it rejected his plans for his property. Last week, the Supreme Court upheld O'Neill's ruling that the club acted in good faith in rejecting Homsi's plans since they did not comply with the covenants.
Meanwhile, Homsi is continuing to appeal the decision to award $45,713 in court costs and legal fees to the Governor's Island Club along with an attachment against his property for failure to pay his dues to the club since 2011. Like Groucho Marx, who quipped he would not belong to a club that would have him as a member, Homsi has unsuccessfully sought to quit his membership, which one member told him was "a life sentence."
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