Ossipee dock owner in choppy water over permits
Complaints last summer that Lakefront Landing Marina owner Wayne Killman had expanded his dock structures and constructed a new water wall without state permission prompted an investigation by the Department of Environmental Services, beginning in January.
On May 11, the DES issued to Killman a Notice of Findings from the probe, informing him that the DES had no record of permits issued for the 44 docks that he is selling. The DES also found town tax records that show all 44 docks existed at the site in 2002, when the marina was owned by Wesley and Eleanor Lords and was known as Lords Landing Marina. Killman bought it from the Lords in 2004 and renamed it.
Killman was instructed by DES officials to provide plans and/or photographs showing that all the docks existed in their present location before 1980, which would allow the docks to remain without permits because state laws requiring permits were not in place before then.
The DES also requested more information from Killman regarding a fuel dispenser on the property, documentation for a structure’s setback from the shoreline and a formal permit application for 70 linear feet of rip-rap (rock or other material used to prevent erosion) that has been installed on site. At the same time, state officials issued a separate letter rejecting other alleged claims of violations of state laws, including a charge that the marina had an illegal septic system.
The state has received materials from Killman and will likely decide the fate of the marina’s docks this week, said DES Water Division Assistant Director Rene Pelletier.
Killman says the 44 boat slips and 12 campsites at 85 Pequaket Trail were there when he bought the property eight years ago. Since then, he said, he has rebuilt the docks with better materials, but their placement and size haven’t changed.
“Everything was done within the same footprint,” he said.
Killman said he has provided photos and documentation as the state requested.
He said it was “an angry competitor” who complained to the DES.
He is mad at DES officials for coming at him with permit demands almost a decade after he took over the marina.
“When I bought the property, the docks were there and I didn’t know that there were no permits,” he said. “Nobody told me I needed anything more until last year and the complaints came from my competition.”
He’s hoping the state will rule in his favor.
“I’m being made to look like the bad guy in this, but I’ve sold a number of docks and I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Kevin Price, who owns Ossipee Lake Marina in Freedom, was the original complainant. His cause is shared by Ossipee resident Rick St. Jean, who is a septic system installer.
Both say Killman illegally expanded his already unpermitted docks, widening them and extending them deeper into the small channel on which Lakefront Landing sits. Besides being unpermitted, they allege, the lengthened docks now pose a hazard to channel-goers.
Price said he recently sent a package to the DES with photos and maps showing that only a handful of docks existed at the marina in the 1990s and that as few as one dock existed on the property prior to that, when the property was primarily a campground.
Killman said Price’s photos must have been taken in the spring or fall, before docks are put out. He said Price, the “angry competitor,” has been out to ruin his business for several years.
Price is also angry, he said, because he and others on the lake have had to comply with state laws and quick enforcement actions on violations in the past few years.
“All we want is for all the rules to apply to everyone. That doesn’t seem to be the case here,” Price said.
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Dan Seufert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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