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Deeper look at castle ruling

To the editor:

The Sunridge Neighbors have successfully challenged the Rindge Zoning Board of Adjustment’s decision to allow Representative Hunt to run his castle rental business without a business permit. Now Mr. Hunt is trying to frighten Rindge residents into thinking that the Court’s ruling “sets a new precedent” that would prevent anyone in Rindge from renting their home.

This is false. Rindge’s own attorney, Sam Bradley, clearly stated during the ZBA hearing that the board could deny Mr. Hunt’s request to run his business without concern for setting precedent. There is no connection between the Hunt’s resort business and someone renting their home. The judge found that the Hunts are operating a business due to the scope and scale of their activity: (1) they have a number of full-time and part-time employees, (2) they have stated in various marketing literature and communications that they have begun a “rental business” and (3) they advertise the rental as appropriate for events.

While families or groups of families do rent the castle, many rentals are of unrelated people there to experience events such as bachelor parties , outdoor Medieval re-enactments (“treasure” hunt participants found wandering up random driveways into neighbors yards!), witches celebrating Wiccan Halloween. It appears that the Hunts would like to expand the event part of their business; perhaps build a new building to accommodate more recreational activities, larger groups and weddings.

We hope people will understand that it is, in fact, only Mr. Hunt who is affected by this ruling and will, therefore, be unable to conduct his resort destination business in a residential neighborhood.

Susan Wessels


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