Mason, NH, June 28, 2016 – According to an article in the June 29 Monadnock Ledger:
The petition, which is signed by eight abutters who occupy four properties on Churchill Road and Reed Road, echoes that statement, suggesting that the ammendmetn doesn’t protect the welfare and interests of the community but rather “advances the personal and pecuniary interest of one property owner.”
The petition also suggests that the amendment is vague and over-broad because of the lack of definition of outdoor entertainment, and that it does not substantially achieve the objectives set out by the Master Plan, among other objections.
The Select Board has 30 days to decide whether to rehear the amendment, which it can do at a regularly noticed board meeting. If the board decides not to grant a rehearing, the petitioners have 30 days within which to file an appeal with the superior court.
The abutters argue that the board should recuse themselves from making a decision on the rehearing because they were the official sponsors of the ordinance, which they allege creates a conflict of interest.
The Select Board did not take any action on the petition after receiving it on Tuesday, and will be consulting with the town’s lawyer on how to proceed.
While the Gazette has not read the motion for rehearing, the assumption is that the process will be that prescribed under RSA 677-3. The basis for granting a reheaing under 677-3 are quite stringent and bear close reading.
RSA 677-2 stipulates that “If the decision complained against is that made by a town meeting, the application for rehearing shall be made to the board of selectmen, and, upon receipt of such application, the board of selectmen shall hold a rehearing within 30 days after receipt of the petition. Following the rehearing, if in the judgment of the selectmen the protest warrants action, the selectmen shall call a special town meeting.”
Thanks to recently resigned former ZBA chairman Bill Rendle for pointing out the relevant RSA’s.
Long time ZBA member and newly elected ZBA board chairman Mike Davieau indicated that as an abuttor he intends to recuse himself from any future ZBA decisions regarding this matter, further aggravating the experienced membership count on the ZBA should a special exception application come to that board.
Despite the selectmen’s best efforts, the legal costs press on…