Marine says he will fight ruling on Veteran Resort Chapel in LeeBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Sunday News Correspondent
November 18. 2017 11:30PM
LEE — A local Marine says he will continue to fight for homeless veterans despite the fact that a judge has imposed a $70,675 fine on him for building tiny houses on a property in town.
Peter Macdonald runs the Veteran Resort Chapel on 11 acres that he and his wife, Agnes, purchased with their retirement savings. They built a single-family home on the property at 101 Stepping Stones Road.
The basement is used as a place of worship, Macdonald said.
Macdonald and town officials have been arguing for four years over whether or not he can build small structures measuring approximately 8 feet by 10 feet and offer them as places for veterans to stay on the property.
Last week, Strafford County Superior Court Judge Mark Howard issued a ruling that Lee’s decision to stop Macdonald from building the tiny homes is not unreasonable or unlawful. Howard imposed the fine on Macdonald because he has not remedied the matter, instead building more tiny homes for veterans.
“I will 100 percent, until my death, fight to better lives for homeless veterans,” Macdonald said Saturday.
Town officials said Macdonald is violating zoning laws by having multiple dwelling units on the property.
Justin Pasay, an attorney for the town, says Macdonald does not have the proper building, electrical and plumbing permits for the tiny homes and that there is no septic system to accommodate the structures.
According to website information, Macdonald registered the property for religious purposes in 1980.
Prior to a court hearing in June, Macdonald said Veteran Resort Chapel has helped 21 veterans get back into society since 2013.