Consider this: If Westward Shores were undeveloped floodplain land and a new owner came to town with a plan to build a major business there, consisting of 519 sites for camping vehicles served by septic systems and ancillary buildings, would anyone think that was a reasonable idea and good for the lake? Even if a way could be found to make it legal? Sometimes a little common sense needs to temper legal issues.
A Superior Court judge has ordered Ossipee’s ZBA to hear Freedom’s appeal that the town violated its zoning ordinance when it ruled the campground’s expansion plan meets all local regulations. The hearing will be on Tuesday, May 9.
A request by Tamworth to be given special abutter status in the Route 16 development gets shut down by Ossipee. The developer’s engineering firm sees irony in the neighboring town’s concerns because Tamworth has no zoning laws and lacks a groundwater protection ordinance.
State data shows Westward Shores Campground experienced floodwaters on at least 116 days between 2000 and the end of 2016, a much higher number of occurrences than previously reported. The revised number was computed from state data after pictures and videos last week showed extensive flooding while the lake level was approximately a foot lower than what was thought to be the flooding benchmark.
Despite a moderate spring snowmelt, less than an inch of rain, and a lake level well under the 410 mark, Westward Shores has muddy roads, soggy campsites, and a Peninsula covered with water where the business wants to install 15 year-round RV rental units. Photos and videos this week validate long-time lake residents’ claims that the campground floods when the water exceeds 409′, not 410′ as previously thought.