Silver Scone neighbors dismiss court complaint
|Published: 03-22-2023 2:33 PM
Following an out-of-court settlement agreement, a group of neighbors protesting the Silver Scone Teas party event business on River Road in New Ipswich have dismissed a civil suit with the Hillsborough Superior Court against the town related to approvals for the business.
Silver Scone Teas has been granted a variance by the Zoning Board of Approvals to hold events up to four times a month, with the board finding the business was either similar to or less-impactful in scope than those that were allowed by special exception such as inns, day cares and nursing homes.
The complaint to the Superior Court alleged the town had violated the right-to-know-law by not issuing a written decision in a timely manner, after a appeal of a driveway permit allowing a second driveway for an additional parking area for Silver Scone Teas.
According to filings submitted to the Hillsborough Superior Court on March 9, all parties agreed that the docket be marked with the following: that the suit was not found for or against either party, that there were no attorney’s fees or costs awarded, that there be no further action on the same cause and all claims were dismissed with prejudice, meaning the plaintiff cannot refile the same claim again in that court.
Nancy Clark, an attorney representing a group of immediate or near neighbors, including Richard Craig and Sharin Smeeth, Robert and Annmarie Fournier, Stan Zabierek and Louise Delpapa, Christopher Allen and Marilyn Stowe, Gregory and Soyoo Caltabiano, Cristopher O’Leary, Elizabeth Freeman and Colin Carroll, dismissed the Superior Court complaint following the settlement, which was reached on March 6.
Clark declined to comment on the settlement beyond the filing.
The same group had also appealed the issuance of the driveway permit to the New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board, alleging the town had erred in issuing the permit in a number of ways, and also the issuance of a variance to allow the operation an occasional food establishment in the town’s village district issued by the Zoning Board.
Due to the pending Superior Court case, it was originally requested that the Housing Board of Appeals be stayed, which was originally granted, but has now been lifted due to the dismissal of the court complaint.
The two appeals before the Housing Board remain to be resolved, but no hearing date has been set.
The Housing Board has granted an extension to New Ipswich until April 13 to provide a certified record related to the variance and issuance of the driveway permit, and their appeals, and to answer the complaints submitted by Clark.
While those appeals are still pending, Silver Scone Teas is still in the midst of the final approval process. Having secured a variance from the Zoning Board, owner Jane Elwell is in the midst of a site plan review with the Planning Board.
On Tuesday, Clark said the Planning Board was being deliberate and taking its time with the proceedings. She said it remained to be seen whether her clients would also be appealing whatever decision is made regarding the site-plan review process.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or email@example.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.