Lincoln County Superior Court ruled in favor of Boothbay Harbor Aug. 30 on an appeal filed Oct. 22, 2020 by 29 McKown LLC and Chandler Wright of 35 McKown St. The petition requested the court reverse Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith’s lifting of a stop work order issued Sept. 17, 2020 against Harbor Crossing LLC at 14 Todd Ave. The order was lifted Sept. 25.
Harbor Crossing’s first permit application, submitted March 26, 2020, was for a new roof, siding, doors, flooring, paint and a heat pump with no dimensional changes. A second application was submitted June 5 requesting demolition of the structure and a new build which would include a new foundation, an increase in height from 15’ to 16’ and an expansion of 24 square feet. Smith granted the permit June 8.
Smith issued his stop work order Sept. 17 due to suspicion a second floor was being installed. He demanded a revised plan which revealed a new height of 23’, and expansion of about 200 square feet, but no second floor. He lifted the stop work order Sept. 25 requiring no site plan review for the changes.
Wright and 29 McKown LLC proprietor Tom Myette said in a statement to the Boothbay Register they are disappointed by the ruling, but it should not be interpreted as any exoneration for the town or for Harbor Crossing owner Dennis Hilton. “The judge merely ruled that we had missed the opportunity to file an appeal on these ‘permits.’ (The judge) even went so far as to say that had we appealed on them within 30 days he would have returned the matter to the planning board where it belongs. There, we would have expected it to meet the same scrutiny that the prior applicant did when a building of the same scope was denied.”
The disagreement is underpinned by the fact the 14 Todd Ave. abutters had no way of knowing the permits were issued because public notice was never issued in the Boothbay Register, they said. Abutters were also never notified directly by the town, they said.
“Finally, since the applicant never began building the structure until after the 30-day window to appeal was closed, nobody could have known the specifications of the second permit until Hilton continued to modify and expand the building yet again from it’s original scope leading to a stop work order. We continue to have options to make this right and are examining them with our attorneys.”
Hilton declined comment. Smith was not immediately available for comment.
This article has been updated since its original posting.