First Selectman Rick Morgan lead a presentation Monday night on the town’s plans for Camp Sokokis if voters approve purchasing the property at a special town meeting on November 28.
Effingham got its chance to publicly support Freedom’s claim that the controversial campground expansion plan violates Ossipee’s floodplain zoning ordinance, but the outcome was the same. Meanwhile, Ossipee’s Select Board has turned down a proposed settlement of the issues with Freedom, and an Effingham Planning Board member warns that Ossipee residents could lose eligibility for federal flood insurance if the town is found to be out of compliance with its floodplain regulations.
Effingham, which has abutter status in the issue, was not notified of the ZBA hearing at which Freedom, which also has abutter status, was given an opportunity to present its opposition to the expansion plan. Freedom had previously been denied the opportunity by Ossipee officials to present its case, a denial that was overruled by a state court judge.
On a 5-2 vote, with two abstentions, developers of the old White’s Garage/Johnson Oil property will be allowed to proceed with their controversial plans. Unless there is an appeal, the vote ends a contentious application process that featured Planning Board members insulting one another as well as members of the public.
After last week’s lengthy court-ordered public hearing, the Ossipee Zoning Board denied Freedom’s request to reconsider the planning board’s approval of the expansion of Westward Shores campground. But now Effingham is calling for that hearing to be reheld. Meanwhile, Freedom is consulting its lawyer on what to do next.