CMBG files lawsuit

Posted:  Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 9:30am

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens filed a lawsuit Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court in Portland claiming Boothbay denied CMBG its constitutional right to due process.

The lawsuit was filed two days after Boothbay’s Board of Appeals wouldn’t reconsider an earlier decision to deny a permit for CMBG’s $30 million expansion.

On Nov. 9, the appeals board voted 3-2 to deny a permit for the expansion. This overturned a November 2016 planning board decision which unanimously granted a permit. The Anthony family appealed the board’s decision which led to a series of appeals board hearings.

CMBG also claims the proceedings were biased.

The suit claims the board indicated in a 4-1 straw vote in September that it would affirm the Gardens’ permit, but support for the permit “somehow reversed just three weeks later.”

In September, the appeals board took a straw vote which would have affirmed a permit. But in a subsequent vote, the board ruled 3-2 that the expansion project was in a prohibited location. The suit claims two board members, Scott Adams and Steve Malcom, visited the Gardens in an “ex parte proceeding that violated clearly established procedural due process rights.”

No date has been set for the lawsuit.