Farm Island

Farm Island in 19-Mile Bay in Tuftonboro on Lake Winnipesaukee is the proposed site of a controversial 10-lot subdivision. YMCA Camp Belknap, which owns a portion of the island, has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the planning board's approval of the project.

TUFTONBORO — The developer who won the go-ahead for a 10-lot subdivision on Farm Island on Lake Winnipesaukee has been granted permission to become a party to the lawsuit filed by YMCA Camp Belknap against the Tuftonboro Planning Board and the town, as the camp seeks to overturn the subdivision approval.

The nonprofit camp that purchased 7.5 acres on the island located in 19-Mile Bay in 2010 filed suit in Carroll County Superior Court on Nov. 14, contending the specific conditions the planning board imposed are insufficient to protect the town, the abutters and the public.

Last month, C&R NH Realty Trust LLC, through Attorney Andrew H. Sullivan of Bedford, sought permission to become a party to the suit as the company had signed a purchase and sales agreement in September 2018 for a 13.4-acre parcel of land on the northern side of the island from brothers David, Donald and John Winchester.

In requesting intervenor status in the suit, C&R NH Realty Trust, owned by Randy Owen and Cynthia Pratt, asserts it has expended thousands of dollars in pursuing subdivision of the island and “is committed to pursuing this subdivision to its final, unappealable approval.” Having footed the bill for the subdivision application and having the contractual rights to buy the property, Sullivan argued his client is directly affected by the outcome of the YMCA appeal.

In response to the issues raised in the suit, Sullivan denies the allegation that the planning board did not engage in meaningful analysis of issues including water quality impact. He also denied that an archaeological study referenced during the approval process revealed significant archaeological resources on Farm island.

In response to claims that the island is a critical loon habitat, Sullivan asserted that there are no loons presently nesting there and that any potential nesting sites were not going to be disturbed as part of the proposed development.

Sullivan further rejected claims that traffic issues had not been properly addressed by the land-use board or that the fire department had expressed any dissatisfaction with the proposed subdivision. Allegations that the developers have little experience, Sullivan wrote, are irrelevant, given that any construction project will be subject to town and state standards.

C&R NH Realty Trust has asked the court to dismiss the complaint or deny the request to overturn the planning board’s approval.

Attorney Matthew R. Johnson of Devine, Millimet & Branch P.A., of Manchester, on behalf of the camp, argues the planning board’s actions were unreasonable and/or unlawful, and he is asking the court to send the case back to the planning board for a full and proper consideration of the applicant’s plan.

Judge Amy Ignatius has ordered that the project is not to progress until the court makes a decision, and that the planning board shall deliver to the court certified copies of all documents acted upon by the planning board.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Monday, January 27, 2020
Saturday, January 25, 2020