According to the Laconia Daily Sun, commissioners questioned the on-mountain hotel and expansion to the back side of the mountain, as well as environmental impacts.
The Gunstock Area Commission has faced turmoil due to disagreements with the Belknap County Delegation, which serves as the appointive agency for the commission. The commission sued the delegation last year over concerns of removing commissioners. Subsequently, commissioner Brian Gallagher resigned and the delegation nominated Dr. David Strang to serve the remainder of his term.
Commissioners Gary Kiesdaisch and Rusty McLear took issue with Strang voting at yesterday's special meeting, claiming he had not yet been properly sworn in. The Laconia Daily Sun reports that Kiesdaisch and McLear left the commission table when the rest of the commission rejected an offer to hold the meeting as an informal session. The commission then voted to drop its lawsuit against the delegation.
In February, prior to the shakeup, the commission reportedly altered the master plan by making the Eastside and hotel project the first phase. Upgrades to the existing resort had previously been presented as the first phase. The new first phase was estimated at $18.7 million in February, a $3.4 million increase over the $15.3 million presented by SE Group in December.
According to the Laconia Daily Sun, concerns with the master plan include potential land use restrictions involving the on-mountain hotel site, as well as conservation easements on the back side parcel. In addition, two environmental groups reportedly raised concerns with the master plan.
The commission also voted to halt the conversion of the Stockade Lodge to a full-service restaurant, a $400,000 project.