April 7 deadline set for Crotched
Town wants proof of light shield progress
FRANCESTOWN — With the ski season over and only three required light shields installed at Crotched Mountain Ski and Ride, the town enforced a deadline of April 7 for variance compliance. If that deadline is not met, the town will take legal action with its attorney.
In a letter from the town’s Code Enforcement Officer Ed Hunter to the General Manager of Crotched Mountain, Pat Terry, mountain officials were told they must either complete the installation of the required light shields to all 38 lights in the new expansion or provide documentation of the shields being on back order by April 7, or the town will take legal action, according to the letter sent March 26.
The town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment granted Crotched Mountain an outdoor lighting variance on Nov. 26, over four months ago, as long as light shields were installed to all 38 lights.
“You have taken advantage of our attempts to work with you and your lack of cooperation is putting the town in a very difficult situation to defend Crotched Mountain’s lack of action,” Hunter’s latest letter reads.
If Terry does not contact the town by April 7, the town will refer the matter to their attorney, Matt Serge, “with instructions to seek all available legal remedies, which may include seeking immediate injunctive relief,” the letter reads.
“In addition, pursuant to state law, the town has the right to assess a civil penalty against SNH Development [Crotched Mountain property owner] in the amount of $275 for the first day, and $550 for each day following, that it fails to comply with the condition of the ZBA’s decision,” according to the letter.
According to Hunter in an interview Thursday, he has not heard from Terry since Terry last spoke at a Select Board meeting on Feb. 24. At this meeting, Terry said he installed three shields in the new expansion on the mountain’s summit and that some lights were on back order. Hunter asked for proof of this, but allegedly Terry has not provided it or returned phone calls from Hunter.
“We want to put this to rest before the next season,” Hunter said.
The civil penalty would take time to go into affect, Hunter said, so the mountain would not owe the town money immediately following April 7. The town would need to reach out to their attorney and have this issue go before the court before a civil penalty goes into effect.
“I’ve thought that things were going to happen much sooner,” Hunter said. “There are things here that could be out of their control, and we just want evidence of that and it hasn’t been forthcoming.”
Terry did not return multiple messages by press time on Monday.
Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.