Local Appeal hearing on Perry Mountain development

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – The Charlestown Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) will hold a public meeting on Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. in the community room at 26 Railroad St. Charlestown, N.H. to hear an appeal brought by the Perry Mountain Community Group (PMCG). The appeal challenges the selectboard’s 3-2 decision to issue permits for a barn/garage and for a 10,000 square foot, five-bedroom residence near the top of Perry Mountain.

Residents of Charlestown and neighboring towns are rightfully concerned about a major change-of-use from existing pristine land in the Zone D watershed to new residential development on Perry Mountain. The selectboard ignored town, state, and conservation requirements that preclude building permits for Perry Mountain. The requirements include protection of the Sky Farm Conservation Easement on the Borough Road Class VI Extension.

On Nov. 9, BCM Environmental and Land Law, PLLC, submitted PMCG’s appeal* and attachments to Charlestown’s ZBA. Of significance are two facts:

  1. Class VI Borough Road cannot legally be widened
  2. The Charlestown Selectboard’s failure to uphold its contractual obligations under the Sky Farm Conservation Easement exposes Charlestown to costly litigation.

Sharon Francis, PMCG member and former owner of the Sky Farm Conservation Easement land, states: “In 1992, I placed a conservation easement on my land so the people of Charlestown would always have a beautiful place to hunt, snowmobile, hike, ski, and share discovery of unspoiled nature.”

Bonnie Remick, PMCG member and current owner of the Sky Farm easement, explains: “We are convinced that the proposed residential development cannot be completed without illegally widening the Class VI Borough Road and causing permanent damage to the conservation easement and other abutting properties.”

Leanne Mortell of Unity adds that “the proposed residential development in a watershed area only increases the risk for more environmental damage and taxpayer costs in the Perry Mountain area.” Acworth resident John Tuthill agrees: “Please support efforts to protect Perry Mountain and the Conservation Easement on Borough Road.”

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