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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lawless Lisbon: The Home Of "Illegal" Spot Zoning


At Tuesday night's Town Council Workshop, Don Fellows and John Potvin, from the Planning Board,

 Lisbon Planning Board Member Don Fellows

Lisbon Planning Board Member John Potvin

 gave the Town Council a scaled down version of the same presentation on the Gartley Street zoning change and the “Conditional Usages” for Open Rural District 1 (Route 9). 

 Lisbon Town Councilor Mike Bowie
Editor's Note: Hey Mike, is that "Gorilla Glue" you use to keep you toupee and hearing aids stuck to your scalp or Super Glue?
Inquiring Minds Want To Know???

 During the discussion Councilor Bowie asked the town attorney Therriault for his opinion over whether or not this was “spot zoning”. Therriault did NOT provide the council with a legal definition of “Spot Zoning” but instead provided his own rendition of the situation with pure double-talk. At no time did he answer Councilor Bowie’s question. 

This is the method Therrault utilizes to make his money by providing his opinion instead of a legal review. All Therriault sees is “Cha Ching” dollar signs. 

Roger Cote, a member of the audience, offered a legal definition off of his phone but no one was really interested.

“Spot Zoning” is a violation of Maine Law. “Spot zoning is the application of zoning to a specific parcel of land within a larger zoned area when the rezoning is usually at odds with a city's master plan and current zoning restrictions.” as defined by Wikipedia.

These two definitions clearly define what “Spot Zoning” is and the Gartley Street proposal meets all the conditions as outlined by definition. Double-talk by Therriault will not change the situation but it will open the town to lawsuits and possible sanctions by the state. Both Fellows and Potvin are well aware of the spot zoning definitions and are willing to ignore them.

The Planning Board has a history of ignoring ordinances. At the last Planning Board meeting, they voted to ignore the Wellhead Protection Ordinance and allowed an emergency access strip across Zone 1 of the Wellhead Protection Ordinance. 

 Lisbon Town Councilor Gina Mason

Also, when Councilor Mason’s husband wanted to legalize his business on Route 9, this very board utilized a “Conditional Usage” to approve his request. The only problem with their decision is they cited “Sec 70-353 Conditional Usages, paragraph 3, Other; subparagraph g, Temporary construction, excavating, fabrication or processing.” without an expiration date. 

This now makes this temporary condition permanent. This conditional usage clearly states it is a temporary condition but the Planning Board made it permanent. Is this special treatment for a councilor or possibly English is not their first language?

Why do we have ordinances and laws if they are going to be ignored?
Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

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