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Applicants clear first hurdle in Ossipee campground project



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AERIAL PHOTO from 2005 showing the location of the proposed campground in West Ossipee in the center. Just below it on the right side of Route 16 are the McDonald’s Restaurant and the Tramway Artisans plaza and on the left is Route 25 West. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
September 22, 2011
OSSIPEE— The zoning board here has granted an exception and a variance that allows Whittier Coalition to move forward with getting planning board approval to build a campground.

The Coalition owns 12 and a half acres at 2390 Route 16, behind the West Ossipee Fire Station, and the former Lions Club property with about three and a half acres. Part of the combined property is zoned commercial nodal and part is rural. Mark McConkey and Vince Vaccaro, representing Whittier Coalition, therefore had to seek a special exception to allow a mixed use campground to be constructed in the properties.

They also attended last week's zoning board meeting seeking a variance to ease the 50-foot setback requirement down to 25 feet.

In presenting the case for a mixed tent site/recreational vehicle campground, McConkey said the plan is to use the former Lions Club building as a recreation building and the cement building for recreational activities in the summer.

The zoning board meeting was standing room only as the board heard information presented that strictly pertained to the request for the variance and the exception. The preliminary plans were enough to pass the requirements of the zoning ordinance and both were granted in a unanimous vote with all four members, Jean Simpson, David Babson, Stanley Brothers, and Bruce Parsons, voting in favor.

The next step is site plan approval from the town's planning board. In this phase, a lot more work has to be done to meet the requirements of the town's site plan review regulations. Exact plans will have to be drawn up and several permits obtained. According to the town's site plan review checklist, the applicant will have to show exact lot lines, parking, utilities, signage, landscaping, soil types and drainage, lighting, septic and well systems approval, fire department approval, and a state approved driveway permit among other things.

No date has been set for the site plan review.

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