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Big Island girl's camp proposal heading to court

Union Leader Correspondent

January 17. 2018 11:41PM
Some mainland residents in Laconia remain opposed to plans to open a nonprofit girl's summer camp on Big Island in Paugus Bay, on Lake Winnipesaukee. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

LACONIA — A Dallas mortgage mogul’s hope to establish a nonprofit girls’ camp on a Lake Winnipesaukee island will play out in court.

Scott Everett, who owns Big Island in Paugus Bay, said Wednesday he will appeal the zoning board’s denial of his request for a rehearing.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 Tuesday not to hold another hearing on Everett’s proposal to build the camp, which would accommodate up to 40 girls, ages 8 to 12. It would also serve as a conference center for nonprofits.

“It’s a futile process to go back before the same board,” Everett said Wednesday, confirming that he plans to challenge the decision in Belknap County Superior Court.

Everett grew up in the Lakes Region and owns a home on Paugus Park Road on the western shore of Paugus Bay. He has said the project is his way of giving back to the community and also sets an example for his own children.

On Nov. 20, the ZBA voted 4-0 to deny the special exception needed to advance the project to the planning board for site plan review.

“I still believe that it is warranted within the confines of the law. It’s a shame that the (city) is going to be losing the revenue and the exposure from visitors that it could and should receive,” Everett said.

In asking for a rehearing, Everett’s development team submitted letters from the fire chief, police chief and director of public works that addressed concerns raised by the public about emergency services and public safety, as well as the impact on the city’s sewer system.

Board Chairman Steven Bogert, and fellow board members Suzanne Perley, Orry Gibbs, Michael Foote and Roland Maheu all voted against granting a rehearing.

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