By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The owners of Timber Hill Farm and abutter Monique Twomey have still not learned if a judge will issue a restraining order to stop the farm from holding weddings and other like events on Gunstock Hill Road.
Judge James O'Neill dismissed one of two cases filed against the town of Gilford by an Twomey to Timber Hill Farm for actions taken by its Zoning Board of Adjustments relative to agritourism in a single-family residential zone.
The dismissed case was filed by Twomey and asked for the court to issue a restraining order stopping any forward progress by Timber Hill Farm and its wedding venue proposals and to force the ZBA to uphold a previously issued cease-and-desist. O'Neill dismissed this case because the final deadline to appeal the Dec. 1, 2015, decision was not filed within the 30 days allowed by law.
A second suit filed against the town of Gilford by Twomey challenged the second ZBA ruling which was to overturn a decision it made by saying the Planning Board erred in early December when it said that agritourism is not agriculture.
Twomey has requested a restraining order stop the Howes from continuing with their plans until the court cases have all been adjudicated.
The Howes have been granted intervenor status in the second case and have filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying that it is irrelevant now because Gilford's voters chose to allow agritourism as agriculture in all of their zones, with restrictions to be imposed by Planning Board site plan review.
Twomey has objected to this motion to dismiss, saying that the zoning ordinance recently passed by Gilford voters created a new subsection called "Open Spaces Uses" that establishes regulations for agritourism. She argues that this "doesn't change, clarify, modify, or in any way alter the Zoning Ordinance definition of 'agriculture.'" She contends the issue is not moot, or irrelevant, and that the court should be able to render a decision.
The judge will hear arguments on this aspect of the case and has decided to wait to determine whether he will issue a restraining order.
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