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Belmont state rep in hot water with town over living conditions

Union Leader Correspondent

September 22. 2018 9:31PM

BELMONT - Local state Rep. Michael Sylvia will find himself in Superior Court next week to defend against a lawsuit brought by the town.

In an injunction filed Aug. 9, the town claims Sylvia is using his property at 216 Farrahville Road, in violation of state and town regulations.

In the two-page complaint asking a Belknap County Superior Court judge to order Sylvia to vacate the property, or obtain the proper permits, the town charges that Sylvia has a small RV which he lives in during the summer months and a garage where he resides during the winter.

Attorney Laura Spector-Morgan, on behalf of the town, alleges that Syliva lacks a permit for the RV or to convert the garage to a dwelling. Additionally, there is no record that the property has a functioning septic system, the town says.

As a result, Sylvia is using the property in violation of the town's zoning ordinance, state building codes and state environmental laws and regulations, according to Spector-Morgan.

The town notified Sylvia of the alleged violations in letters dated Aug. 16, 2017, Dec. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2017. A fourth letter dated May 1, 2018 was sent by Spector-Morgan.

According to the complaint, Sylvia replied in a letter dated May 15 indicating that his use of the property was not harming anyone else and therefore is protected by the Constitution.

The town has asked the court to impose fines of up to $275 per day for every day since August 16, 2017 that the violations continue as well as reimbursement for legal costs.

In an affidavit attached to the complaint, Belmont Town Code Enforcement Officer Steven Paquin said the facts contained in the town's complaint are true and accurate.

In response to a telephone message seeking comment, Sylvia said when it is appropriate to talk he will do so.

He has filed notice with the court that he intends to represent himself in the case. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

Sylvia, a Republican, was first elected to the House in 2012 and is currently running for his fourth term representing Belknap District 6. On his website he said if re-elected he will "continue his work toward a smaller and more accountable government which uses less coercion and is more reliant on voluntary interactions."

Courts Real estate Belmont State Government

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