letter to the editor

Regarding Molinellis vs Town of Boothbay

Mon, 05/31/2021 - 5:45pm

Dear Editor:

On May 13, the Boothbay Register reported on two cases won by us against the town of Boothbay, though some dates were in error. Everyone who has a grandfathered nonconforming view benefits from the court's decision in the first case that the town cannot nullify this right unilaterally by town-imposed delays. The judge held this would discourage anyone from working with the town because "the town could essentially weed out all nonconforming uses by ordering that they not occur until certain requirements are met, then never approving the requirements despite an effort by the land owner to comply, and waiting for two years to pass, then removing the property from the exemption under the ZO (zoning ordinance)."  

The second suit was based on an effort by the town to do an end run around the first decision based on the first court decision that the Molinellis obtain a permit. The court strongly criticized both the town and its attorney, saying, "the court wishes to reemphasize that these permit requirements are not carte blanche to rewrite the court's decision." 

Dan Bryer defends the town’s decisions in both cases, understandably; claiming the town’s intention is to protect the environment, also understandable. However, the cutting the Molinellis always proposed, and indeed performed, leaves low shrubs with root systems that protect from erosion better than trees required by the town. Furthermore, for Mr. Bryer to say he would do nothing different means he would continue to file erroneous suits against residents who are making an effort to work with the town, and accept advice from a town attorney who lost two consecutive court cases because of clear errors of law and abuse of discretion. We think the town’s taxpayers deserve better environmental and legal advice.

Eugene and Judith Molinelli