Weare NH - The Weare zoning board ruled unanimously last night that a residential gun shop at the center of an ongoing neighbor dispute can continue to operate because the “reasonable” time period for appeals on it had passed.
The board heard public testimony at its meeting last month as to whether the business, which is owned by Michael Stevens, meets zoning code criteria for a proper “home-based” business. A neighbor, Al Provost, filed an administrative appeal last fall contending it does not.
But the board postponed a ruling last month on the case, explaining that it needed time to confer with the town’s attorney to see if it even had the authority to make a ruling, since the business appeared to have been in operation since at least 2009.
Speaking last night, board Chairman Jack Dearborn said that he had received more definitive evidence since the March meeting that the town had approved the shop’s existence at least once in 2009, which indicated to him that the window of time for an appeal had passed.
“If the neighbors didn’t like it in 2009 they had a reasonable amount of time to come and say that,” he said. “This is an issue for superior court if it gets beyond the reasonable period for administrative appeal.”
Stevens has also operated a commercial firing range in his backyard in the past, but he was ordered by the town administrator in December to cease that activity until he acquires a site plan review for it. The ruling last night does not impact that order.
More at the LINK ... Mostly though it's The Plaintiffs Lawyer Whining about the Decision.