Tonight’s regular Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting addressed two items of new business. The first was a motion to request a rehearing of the Martin D. Ruggiero application for a Special Exception to allow seasonal outdoor entertainment at The Driving Range, submitted by Attorney Peter Nicosia on behalf of several abutters to The Driving Range. This application was conditionally approved on November 2, 2016.
The second item of new business was a motion to request a rehearing of the same hearing as described above, submitted by Marty and Nicole Ruggiero.
Rehearing request #1 was submitted by Attorney Peter Nicosia, on behalf of several abutters to The Driving Range. It was a very lengthy document, including itemization of every time something was done out of order. According to the New Hampshire statutes RSA 677:2 and 677:3, anyone intending to appeal a ZBA decision to the NH Superior Court must first request a rehearing of the decision. The motion to rehear gives the ZBA a chance to do it over if they think they made a serious error during the proceedings.
The ZBA members present were the same gentlemen who had been present at the four meetings over which the hearing occurred. While they agreed they may have made many small procedural errors, they did not think they made a serious error. After all, they are volunteers and amateurs at this business, and were concerned they would make similar small errors in a rehearing. The decision to grant a Special Exception had been made after four nights of testimony and deliberation, with a vote on each item a ZBA is responsible for considering. The board members voted to deny the request for a rehearing, 3-2.
Rehearing request #2 was made by the original applicants. It sought to modify the Special Exception to change the time of day when seasonal outdoor entertainment could begin, and to allow fireworks on the grounds.
In their consideration of the motion #2, the board discussed how the hours had been chosen as a compromise between the hours requested by the applicant and the desire of the abutters to enjoy some time of quiet. As to the fireworks, the board stated that was a matter for the Fire Department, Police and other safety officials to address. The board was not interested in pursuing it. The board voted to deny the request for a rehearing, 5-0.