Timberlane School Board Amends
Rules Challenged Over Free Speech

SANDOWN – The Timberlane Regional School District school board has voted to amend two of its rules that were challenged by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union (NHCLU), and members of the public, on grounds that they infringed on First Amendment rights. 

At the board’s organizational meeting last month, members approved newly penned rules about how members should comport themselves and two of these, Rules Seven and Eight, did not sit well with all members. Peter Bealo and Donna Green were against Rule Eight, which restricted communication with the press to the school board chair. Green, a regular blogger on district affairs, also challenged Rule Seven because it forced board members to support all board decisions despite personal misgivings or disagreement.

Following that earlier meeting, the NHCLU sent a letter to the district stating that the rules infringed upon Free Speech rights and threatened further action if they were not rescinded or changed.

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Article Rescinded That Would
Have Defunded Memorial

CHESTER – Stating that the point had been made, selectman Jack Cannon moved successfully to take an article off the warrant that would have sought to remove funding from the heritage committee’s efforts to erect a granite memorial to the town’s best citizens.

The selectmen and committee have not seen eye to eye on what the memorial should entail, and though voters approved $10,000 for the project at last Town Meeting, the effort has since stalled.

Committee chair John Colman has been frustrated with the lack of progress and last week aired his thoughts in a Tri-Town Times article.

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Lighthouse Lane Subdivision
Continued at Planning Board

HAMPSTEAD – A hearing before the Planning Board on a request from Scott Lancaster for subdivision of 4-plus acres on Lighthouse Lane (Estee Road) was continued Monday night to the May 5 meeting. It had previously been continued from the March Planning Board meeting.

The case involves a request by Lancaster for a subdivision of the acreage, which has more than 1,000 feet of frontage on Lighthouse Lane, a one-lane dirt road. The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) denied Lancaster’s original request for a variance to do the subdivision, and Lancaster went to court, where the Zoning Board’s denial was reversed.

The court ruled that Lancaster’s variance should have been granted, called the ZBA denial “unreasonable,” and stated, “Obviously any construction of any building on the new lot to be created will have to be overseen and approved by the Hampstead Planning Board.”

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