Boothbay Harbor Selectmen

Proposed dock expansion makes waves with neighbors

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:00pm

    Members of the Chimes subdivision in Boothbay Harbor wish to expand their shared dock. The next-door neighbors, Thomas and Debrah Yale, owners of Ebb Tyed, object to the expansion.

    Selectmen heard from both parties at the board’s Aug. 25 meeting, but did not make any final decisions and have tabled the matter until their next meeting on Sept. 8. In Boothbay Harbor, all “wharfs and weirs” requests go directly to the board of selectmen.

    Joe LeBlanc, representing the Chimes subdivision (located in West Boothbay Harbor just before the Southport bridge), explained to the selectmen that the subdivision has a common dock shared among the five members. They wished to add two 10 by 30-foot floats to this dock to alleviate crowding.

    “Chimes members tend to use the dock at the same time, when the weather is nice to take their boats out,” LeBlanc said. “This expansion would give them more room to work.”

    Ebb Tyed objects to the expansion, saying that the expansion would damage their view by making the float more visible. Also, according to them, the expansion will limit the projects they have planned for the ocean area in front of their property, involving oyster and mussel farming. They also state that the Chimes association does not have the legal right to expand the dock.

    “Deb and I object to what's being done,” Tom Yale said. “We searched for the perfect piece of land for two-and-a-half years before purchasing this property, because we wanted very specific criteria: view, deep water access, current and storm protection. I have a strong interest in aquaculture, and if the dock expands, it will encroach on the area we have planned to work with and severely (diminish) the value of the land.”

    A letter to the selectmen, prepared by H & A Hopkinson & Abbondanza Attorneys, states that: “Ebb Tyed purchased its lot in The Chimes Subdivision at a premium. The premium was acceptable to the owners of Ebb Tyed for a variety of reasons, many of which will be eliminated or impaired if the pending application is approved."

    Although Ebb Tyed purchased land in the subdivision, they are not members of the Chimes association.

    Debrah Yale also objected to the reason for the dock being expanded.

    “My office is on the front side of the house, and I can just see the dock from there,” she said. “The members of Chimes hardly use the dock at all, and certainly not at the same time. I think I saw one boat go out all week.”

    The selectmen said that it was not their place to mediate civil matters. Selectmen Bill Hamblen said that they could only approve or disapprove on the dock, with the constraint on any approval that the expansion would have to be legally allowed.

    “You're neighbors,” said Selectmen Wendy Wolf. “Is there any way you can come to a common sense agreement about this?”

    Since the selectmen had just been handed the long letter from Ebb Tyde's attorneys at the beginning of the meeting, they felt any decision made would be too hasty. They wished to have time to read the entire 14-page document, so they tabled the issue until Sept. 8. That meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Boothbay Harbor Town Office.