Re: 14 Todd Avenue
Dennis Hilton complains in this paper about legal bills spent by him and taxpayers on court cases regarding his new downtown Newcastle Realty building which came before the Maine Supreme Court. His letter misrepresents the dispute itself, the parties involved, and an important point: Mr. Hilton lost.
The non-appealable ruling is online for all to see.
The court sent back the permitting done by the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) with specific instructions to do the job right. Technically, this reversed the CEO’s decision to lift a stop work order making the Newcastle Realty building un-permitted as built.
Meanwhile Mr. Hilton admitted in his letter to have caused nuisance and trespass issues and he claims to have fixed them. Yet he still pumps water onto our property and his words do not convince the neighbors that he’s inclined to change. For example, his letter misrepresents his roof-line expansion (un-permitted) as an accommodation – as if his failure to get away with running electrical lines to the rear of his building – over my property without an easement – required that change. That’s ridiculous. He also marked our trees and called a tree removal service. That was stopped. When cornered, Mr. Hilton blamed CMP. That wasn’t true. Honest accountability is the first step toward trust-building – especially after trespass. Oh, and that expanded roofline triggered a stop work order.
Mediation with this neighbor is a pointless deflection. The important dispute is about whether the Newcastle Realty building is an illegal expansion of a non-conforming structure, inconsistent site plan reviews and lax enforcement of permits. The Planning Board and Mr. Hilton may hope to dodge those questions and go straight to back room mediation. That’s not what the courts demanded – and for good reason.
This is not the first time our Planning Board has picked and chosen when to do the work based on dismissive logic. In light of the court’s decision, it’s time to set the record straight and face the truth.
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