Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something fishy going on in Winchester

The Keene Sentinel January 27, 2008
Letter to the Editor

To The sentinel:

This letter is in response to an article in the Regional section

of the Sentinel, published on Jan 10th, 2008, under the heading,


The article, headlined, "Waivers Granted For Housing Plan"

stated: "A proposal to build 32 condominium units in Winchester

may be approaching it's second judgment day after the granting of

several new waivers by The Winchester Planning Board ..."


Every taxpayer in Winchester should be up in arms over this

decision by the Planning Board and especially chairperson

Margaret Sharra, over her push to reopen the application of the 32

unit condo project, which had been previously denied by unanimous

vote at the Sept 19th meeting.

Mr Jack Marsh had convinced the board to deny this application

based on town law and his and the board's concerns that many

issues had been left unresolved.

Now,suddenly the board has done a complete turnaround and has

granted three of four waivers submitted to the town board by

Mr Vandyke's attorney and representatives of the engineering firm hired

to develop this project.

This includes granting a waiver to allow Mr Vandyke relief from having

to submit a completed application, as required by the town zoning laws

on any building project,under the premise this would cause him undue

hardship by having to spend the money required to submit completed

design changes.

The Planning Board also granted Mr. Van Dyke a special waiver to

intrude upon the required 100 foot buffer zone surrounding the project,

meant to protect abutters and wetlands, to construct water retention

ponds and culverts; which will channel runoff from the project onto the

adjacent neighbors' properties.

They are also allowing him to extend the entrance to the cul-de-sac

125 feet over the zoning ordinance requirement of 400' simply because

his lot layout doesn't meet the criteria,not because of any topographic

obstacles. As stated in the article, this proposed project just doesn't

fit the terrain.

No mention of the impact of leaching upwards of 20,000 gallons of

live sewage into the hillside behind existing neighborhood homes or

whose responsibility it will be to provide for these people if their water

and septic systems fail.

Nor did they have concerns what impact the approval of this project

will do to our over strained $10,000,000.00 school budget and our

property taxes.

As a member of the budget committee, I know firsthand how fragile

the school budget is. What's the impact going to be once these 32,

two- to- three bedroom units are occupied by school children?

Many of our citizens are not aware that Winchester taxpayers

currently pay the fourth-highest rate in the state.

Why have they granted all of these exemptions of the zoning

ordinance rules for this applicant?

Is Margaret Sharra, working for the townspeople; or is she

actually pandering to this applicant? Was Sharra, at the October

15th, Planning Board meeting, working in the best interest of the

town when she introduced the matter of reconsideration, passing

out documents she researched, to planning board members

indicating other towns being sued, casting out fear that the board

acted too hastily?

I feel that there is more going on here than meets the eye and that

there are other interests at stake,based on the out come of the

board's decisions.

When I questioned why certain members did not recuse themselves

when there was a special interest in the outcome of their vote, I was

verbally attacked by certain members of the board for raising these


Have some of our board members broken their oaths; to protect the

rights, health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Winchester and to

enforce and abide by all of our current land use rules and zoning laws,

by showing their indifference to their responsibilities?

Citizens of Winchester, I implore you to stand up for our town, to be
present at
the next Planning Board meeting on February 11th
( call the town hall for time )
Call or write the selectman and planning board members.

893 Old Westmport Road


the Winchester Informer said...

In all fairness, a response to Mr. Davis' letter, by planning board member, Larry Hill, was published in the Keene Sentinel letters to the Editor section in February. I am attempting to find a copy and post here for all to see.

the Winchester Informer said...

Keene Sentinel Saturday February 9, 2008

Letter was unfair to us

To the Sentinel:
Freedom of speech does not include slander.
This letter is in response to the contribution by Bob Davis to the reader opinion section of January 27, in which he voiced a number of allegations regarding the Winchester Planning Board.
As members of the planning board our response is as follows:
1) It appears Mr. Davis is unaware of the legal duties of the planning board.
2) It appears that Mr. Davis is unaware of the research and council sought by the planning board.
3) It is obvious Mr. Davis has unjustifiably attacked the character and integrity of the board members without research, knowledge or justification.
4) Why hasn't Mr. Davis, or anyone else who has concerns, run for a position on the planning board? Is it because it is a volunteer position with no compensation?
5) While we would never promote litigation among neighbors, Mr. Davis should be aware that a court may consider unfounded allegations slanderous.
6) Mr. Davis: We would welcome an apology.

Larry Hill
Planning Board member
South Parrish Road
Ken Cole
Planning Board member
Keene Road

Alberta said...

I see things have not changed despite us attempting to get rid of the cancer that infected the town several years ago. As someone who was involved somewhat in town government in another town before I moved here. I see the same old problems rearing their ugly head here again. I commend you people in your efforts to fight and stand up for what is right and just. I have sent you an email in regards to donating to your cause and to providing you some information that may help in the coming months. I truly hope others in town will follow your lead and stand up to the core of people who are ruining this town for the decent folks who live here.

Anonymous said...

In regards to this parcel of land, has the town compensated the Penacook Nation for its land? We, the Natives, are watching and waiting to see what you will do. You actions resemble those of a child who is greedy and selfish. It is rather cumbersome to see that someone has no regard for their neighbors' health and concerns. I believe that we need to address more pressing issues such as refunding the money
($250,000) to the Trust fund that you deliberately took out to compensate for your inability to manage the general fund within its boundaries. That money is to be returned to the Trust so that we can have a new sewage system without raising taxes. I am certain that others will agree with that concept. Wouldn't you want that done if someone was managing your retirement money and you were an invalid? That is how we feel when you deliberately make changes in spite of our votes that insist that it not be approved. Your actions prove that our votes do not count, thus you are destroying yourselves.

village taxpayer said...

To the person who just posted would you please explain exactly what it is you are talking about? Does the Penacook tribe own this land and did the town purchase it or set up a trust fund? I'm not following your post.