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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wilton selectmen to abide by ZBA fishing camp decision

WILTON – The Board of Selectmen will not ask the Zoning Board of Adjustment to reconsider its finding for NTV LLC in the matter of the former fishing camp beside Stoney Brook on Route 31.

The ZBA ruled that the former structure is grandfathered and can be rebuilt on the same footprint. ...

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WILTON – The Board of Selectmen will not ask the Zoning Board of Adjustment to reconsider its finding for NTV LLC in the matter of the former fishing camp beside Stoney Brook on Route 31.

The ZBA ruled that the former structure is grandfathered and can be rebuilt on the same footprint.

But selectmen said the new structure would be subject to a building permit and to meeting all building codes.

NTV argued that because it is a “fishing camp” and not a permanent residence, it did not require a permit, so it did not apply for one before replacing the mostly deteriorated former structure with two new ones.

Building inspector John Shepardson met with the selectmen on Monday to
discuss the hearing held on July 8 because the selectmen have only 30 days in which to appeal the decision.

“The ZBA says what was built is OK,” he said. “I contend that the decision says you can now apply for a building permit, not that it’s OK that you did it.”

Selectman Kermit Williams said he agreed with that interpretation.

“The ruling didn’t do anything about the issue of encroaching on the flood plain or being too close to the road,” he said.

The board agreed the former camp had deteriorated to a point where it was not usable. The ZBA said “gradual deterioration” did
not meet the ordinance definition of “demolished or destroyed,” and ruled the building grandfathered under the statutes.

The selectmen agreed that asking for the ZBA to reconsider its decision would likely result in litigation.

The camp has no neighbors and is barely visible from Route 31.

Selectman Bill Condra said he did not want to set a precedent by dropping the case and that it should continue.

“He has violated town ordinances,” Condra said. “The issue is he never applied for a building permit and it is too close to the water.”

Shepardson said that under the state RSAs, “Building codes are part of the state statute. A permit is required.”

The board voted that Shepardson should “take action against the building,” trying a conversation first and resorting to the applicable fine as a last resort. The fine for building without a permit is $300.