In the previously mentioned December 15, 2016 posting on Facebook facebook-post-december-15-2016, the actions taken by the part time land use consultant in the Forster case was mentioned;
“Dennis Hamel No support in there for taxpayers. Tried to destroy a Henniker small business without authority, operating in the dark, not responsible to anyone. I’m sure the current select board thinks he’s just dandy. Like · Reply · 1 · December 15 at 11:56am”
Forster’s case was a case of first impression regarding the Agritourism portion of RSA 21-34:A, which was added in 2007. Not surprising that the NH Supreme Court’s decision was not in line with what the legislation intended, healthy diverse farms, free from stifling zoning laws written to favor land developers.
Since the NH Supreme Court ruling in Forster v. Henniker, the RSA was amended and I am told because Zoning Board of Adjustments around the state continue to interfere with our local farmer’s ability to adapt and compete in the new millennium, the State legislature will introduce new legislation in the up coming session, to put an end to this obscene local government intrusion on free market enterprise.
Henniker’s Zoning regulation Chapter 133-(51-54). states quite clearly that only the Select Board has enforcement authority. (read here)
ARTICLE XIII–ADMINISTRATION Henniker Zoning Regulations 3-8-2016 Edition ARTICLE XIII Administration 133-51 Enforcement by Board of Selectmen It shall be the duty of the Board of Selectmen, and the Board is hereby authorized, to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
133-54 Injunction or other legal action to enforce chapter. Upon any well founded information that this chapter is being violated, it is the duty of the Board of Selectmen to take immediate steps to enforce the provisions of this chapter by seeking an injunction in Superior Court, or by any other legal action as set forth in RSA 676:17, 676:17-a and 676:17b.
In 2012 while I was on the Zoning Board, Forster’s case came before the board on an Administrative Appeal regarding the consultants letter stating that Mr. Forster was in violation of Zoning Regulations. (read here)
The Board of Selectmen never held a single hearing with Mr. Forster prior to the part-time employee sending him the cease and desist letter, which started this whole sordid case. It is telling how this letter dated May 24, 2012, letter-5-24-2012 does not even mention the Select Board as authority and comes just three days after a verbal complaint.
A follow up letter, letter-7-3-2012 (not signed by the consultant himself) now mentions the Select Board and refers to some non existing decision and portends to speak on behalf of the Select Board as their DESIGNEE.
Here is where the consultant has no authority and cannot be a DESIGNEE of the Select Board. Back in 2008 Selectman Scott Osgood (then on the Planning Board) was recommending a warrant article amendment to Section 133-51 et seq. (page 2-3) (read here)
It is quite apparent by the comments made, everyone back in 2008 knew who enforces the Zoning Regulations in Henniker;
Article XIII Administration. Amend §133-51 to allow the Board of Selectmen to choosea designee to act on their behalf; amend §133-52 to allow the Board of Selectmen tochoose a designee to act on their behalf, to adopt fees, and to delete language aboutzoning enforcement; and delete §133-53 Issuance of Permit.
Scott Osgood read the proposed changes and the public hearing notice. He stated that the proposed change would allow the Board of Select men to appoint a designee on their behalf. The Board of Selectmen submitted a letter stating that they support the proposed changes.
“Mr. Parker stated that the Board of Selectmen is ultimately responsible, but this action allows them to appoint a designee to act on their behalf.”
“Dr. Belson stated that he cannot imagine that citizens would want one designee to enforce the entire chapter of zoning regulations.”
Well Dr. Belson was correct…on March 10, 2009, Amendment #4 was defeated 293 No and 214 yes (page 19: 2009 ballot results)
In 2009, Ron Taylor and Leon Parker were on the Select Board, Scott Osgood was on the Planning Board and current Chairman of the Select Board Kris Blomback was on the Zoning Board.
On May 24, 2012, when the land use consultant’s unauthorized letter, supposedly acting as an agent for the Select Board (remember the town voted down any such DESIGNEE), went to Mr. Forster, without the Select Board ever following the UNAMENDED procedures set forth in Chapter 133-(51-54), Kris Blomback and Ron Taylor were on the Select Board. Mr. Parker was on the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
Scott Osgood becomes a selectman in March of 2013 just as Mr. Forster’s case had just finished with the appeals process and was heading to court.
To this day, despite the town’s legislative body VOTING DOWN any DESIGNEE status to anyone other than the Select Board regarding matters of Zoning Compliance in 2009, town officials continue to insist that the part-time land consultant can act as their DESIGNEE in Zoning Compliance matters.
Quite frankly, OHB fails to understand why the public continues to vote these people into office?????
Please keep looking out for each other…be careful on the ice and…PEACE!
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