Boisvert paintball permit renewed at Feel Good Farm in Lyndeborough

LYNDEBOROUGH – Paintball, or “air soft,” enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the course at Lyndeborough’s Feel Good Farm for another five years, although some residents raised concerns regarding the operation.

Neighbors and abutters packed the Town Office meeting room on May 15 for the hearing required for the renewal of the license, but the Planning Board said it had received no written complaints.

Abutter David Roemer said the original permit, granted in 2007, restricted the games to the center of the large property where they would not impact neighbors, and said he doubted that was being adhered to.

“Five years ago (when the permit was renewed), there were complaints of people playing near the brook.” He asked, “Am I to understand (the course) will operate under that the same criteria?”

Acting Board Chairman Bob Rogers said no changes had been made in the plan.

Another neighbor said she had encountered people on her land. “They were always polite,” but she said she was disturbed by noise and had complained several times to the police.

9 p.m. cutoff

Larry Boisvert, owner of Feel Good Farm, said, “I have made it a policy, no noise after 9 p.m.”

Abutter Tracy Turner said, “It’s great Larry has policies, and can that be added to the parameters? It sounds like people have made complaints that haven’t been addressed.”

Rogers said, “Their statements are in the minutes.”

“It took us years to get to this point and abutters shouldn’t be tweaking the criteria,” Boisvert said. “I find a lot of people venturing onto our property and I try to treat them graciously.”

Rogers said, “We do have the specs from (the extension renewal in 2009). There have been no changes and that will have to followed.”

The original permit with the criteria was unavailable to those attending because the copier was not functioning.

Roemer asked about the “other activities being conducted at the farm,” such as a livery stable and a cord wood co-op.

“How do you go about bringing that to someone’s attention?” Roemer asked.

Rogers said, “Contact the selectmen. They are the enforcers.”

Roemer asked if not paying property taxes for two years have any bearing on the permit.

Rogers replied that it’s not part of the Planning Board’s authority.

Donald Anderson expressed the frustration of many present.

“I have no problem with Larry’s activities, but I don’t think we should assume (that he is following the criteria) as to what he could do and where he could do it,” Anderson said. “He is not the most truthful person, in my opinion.”

Work out problems

Rogers said if a problem could not be worked out with the Boisverts, “put it in writing and give it to the selectmen.”

Lacking written complaints, Selectman Arnold Byam moved that the board approve a five-year extension for the paintball course.

The course was opened at Feel Good Farm in 2007, after about six years of trying, as part of a general permit to open a recreational area. The one-year permit covered mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, paintball and educational programs. It did not allow ATV use or camping and attendance was limited to 200 people.

The paintball permit was extended by five years in 2009. At that time, Roemer said paintballers were not staying in designated areas and were along the brook, and Paul Turner said he was concerned about the other activities.

“They are not following the approved plan,” Turner said then. “They seem to be doing whatever they want.”

Arnold Byam, the selectmen’s representative on the board, said the board had received no complaints and that he had visited the farm “twice unannounced when no games were being played,” and had “observed nothing wrong.”

Then, as he did this time, Byam moved to extend the permit.