Letter to the Editor
I have an uncomfortable feeling that the Town of Gilford is complicit in a very shady affair. After months of meetings, letters, testimony from Gilford residents that oppose a commercial enterprise in a residential area, the members of the Planning Board cobbled together a blueprint deal to allow all but fireworks to be allowed on a parcel of conservation land abutting a private home less than 250 feet away.
This questionable agreement was hammered out in a meeting this Monday that forced residents to witness their bias until 11:45 p.m. Why? When all other meetings were to conclude at a reasonable 10 p.m., this meeting was pushing through all requests from Timber Hill Farm to ensure that requested 20 (yes, 20) events could go forward as planned in 2016.
Any consideration for the residents? Oh yes, they will have police patrolling up and down Gunstock Hill Road to ensure people know where to put the 200 cars, or redirect those who might have imbibed a little too much of the undoubtedly farm distilled potato vodka. The traffic pattern will allow for the sundry supplies needed: Toilets, tents, DJ's, caterers, generators, dance floors, photographers, and of course the attendees.
Not a problem you say? Let's consider if this back-room deal garnered by someone that assuredly has undue influence on the members of ZBA and the Planning Board goes through, you the resident of Gilford, can look forward to a less than idyllic weekend on your back deck in the near future.
It's time to find out what is fueling this alliance with Timber Hill Farm and why the Town of Gilford chose to ignore the fact that the required permits were never applied for, nor granted in the first place to allow these events over a year ago and how that oversight was pushed under the bed covers. Did anyone from ZBA or Planning Board read the conservation easement agreement that explicitly prohibited any of these activities if the town had not approved said permits in a residential zone?
Some of these actions are suspect of cronyism.
We pay some pricey taxes on our "view" lots and all residents should consider that a handful of men (and one woman) will decide whether someone wanting to make a buck can have 200 strangers come to dance the conga line a few feet away from your backyard.