Selectmen Fill ZBA Vacancies

The 2016 June 28 selectmen minutes indicate that the selectmen appointed Phil Garside to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Bill Rendle. Also indicated in the 2016 July 8 minutes is that Martha Jacques has been appointed ZBA clerk/alternate member, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Pat Letourneau.

All of this is of some consequence as the ZBA is scheduled to hear an application for a special exception to Mason’s zoning for Marty’s Driving Range that was enabled by the recent zoning change, to allow “seasonal outdoor entertainment”. Owner of the Driving Rage, Martin Rugiero has already approached the planning board which held a non-binding information session on May 25. But why in Mason it takes both a site plan review and a special exception hearing to cover essentially the same concerns is beyond the scope of this post.

And now things get even more complicated…

Some of the abutters to the Driving Range have filed a “do-over” petition with the selectmen regarding the change to the zoning ordinances. Whether that request is granted will be determined at a hearing on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

If the selectmen agree with the petitioners, there will minimally be a revote at a new town meeting and presumably the zoning change and all applications related to it will be suspended until such a vote takes place (caveat, there may be other interpretations of RSA 677:3, contact counsel for proper advice).

A denial of the petition may result in the petitioners advancing their cause to Superior Court. And we should all know how long that takes.

If there are no further challenges to the zoning ordinance, the processes at the planning board and ZBA continue as usual. However, the granting (or rejection) of a special exception and especially the conditions under which it is granted (or rejected) are again subject to challenge.

So as one of our readers wryly pointed out, “[they've] got an ample supply of popcorn — it could be long and legal much like the woodshed.”

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