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Seacoast town seeks injunction against resident over motorcycle noise

Union Leader Correspondent

February 19. 2018 9:03PM

SEABROOK — The town of Seabrook is taking legal action against a local resident, claiming repeated motocross events and excessively loud motorcycles at the property have disrupted the neighborhood.

Lawyers for the town have filed a complaint in Rockingham County Superior Court seeking an injunction against Kathleen Rita-Ahem of 1 Ledge Road for allegedly violating town zoning rules.

According to the complaint filed through attorney Justin Pasay, neighbors complained to Code Enforcement Officer Stefan Zalewski about excessive motorcycle noise in the spring of 2016 and the operation of a motocross course that often included several dirt bikes operating simultaneously.

Zalewski issued a notice of violation to Rita-Ahem in June 2016 stating that using the property as a mini motocross course violated town zoning, site plan review regulations and noise and nuisance ordinances. The notice advised that she could either seek a variance and site plan approval or cease operating the course within 30 days.

The town claims it received no response to the notice and that the motocross activity continued.

Similar complaints continued in the spring of 2017, prompting another notice.

According to the town, Rita-Ahem applied for a “license for parade or meeting” in May 2017 through selectmen to hold a barbecue for 50 or more people in July 2017.

“In the past this event has led to multiple complaints and police calls regarding noise, dust and general mayhem,” the complaint said.

Selectmen planned to hear the application at a board meeting on June 19, 2017, but the town said Rita-Ahem withdrew the license application.

The July 2017 event was still held with an estimated crowd size of more than 200 and 20 bikes operating in the yard, the town said.

Among other things, the town claims that the operation of a motocross course and the multiple events held at the property violate zoning regulations because they are “obnoxious and injurious by reason of the production of noise, dust, smoke, fumes and most predominantly, noise, which compromise the health and safety of abutters and members of the neighborhood and which constitute an annoyance and disturbance.”

The town wants the court to issue an injunction to stop operation of the motocross course and motorcycles on the property and impose a fine of $275 for the first offense and $550 for subsequent offenses for each day that the property was in violation after the conviction date or after the date on which she received written notice from the town that she was in violation.

Rita-Ahem has not yet filed a response to the complaint and could not be reached for comment Monday. A message could not be left on her phone as a recording said her voicemail mailbox was full.

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