N.H. Bd. Ponders Extending Park’s Season
The Belmont, N.H., Planning Board has tabled a decision on allowing a campground to go from a nine-month residence to 11 months until after an independent review of the roads is completed, according to the Laconia Citizen.
The 149-unit Winnisquam Beach Campground wants to extend its months of operation to enable patrons to spend the winter.
Campground Owner and President Bob Slater said that they had done their own tour of the campground with Fire Chief James Davis, who did not have any immediate concerns about the current shape of the roads.
Slater said that safety devices have been applied to the cabins such as reflective numbers on the cottages, reflective signs and plowing services during the winter.
Attorney Rod Dyer said several precedents had already been set in allowing campgrounds to operate longer than nine months, and mentioned a recent Supreme Court case where a campground owner in Epsom, N.H., sued the town planning board to allow his park to be open longer than nine months.
“The court determined that there was no difference in a seasonal and full-time use,” he said.
Dyer said that any plan would include a one-month “safety valve,” and that any agreement made would include safety concerns.
“We built some teeth into this,” he said.
Town Planner Candace Daigle said the restrictions in the original agreement limited the operation to nine months because the owners at the time agreed that was all that was necessary.
“There are certain minimum standards that need to be met,” she said. “The state … may overrule.”
Daigle said that the Davis did not express concerns about the roads, although she said that there were still sections of the road that are prone to flooding, making it difficult for cars to access certain parts of the park.
The next hearing on the issue is scheduled for Aug. 22.