Camden neighbors feud over artificial light
Rockland — A Bay View Street resident has filed a civil action against his neighbor, claiming the light from the abutting property diminishes his ability to enjoy his own land.
O. Stillman Rockefeller filed a complaint Sept. 25 in Knox County Superior Court against Cove Cottage LLC. The action claims the glare of the lights from the property is so severe, the town cited owner Judy Wolf for violating the municipal light pollution ordinance.
Cove Cottage LLC has a company with its principal place of business in Venice, Fla., said the complaint. The suit claims the property operates lights that cast a glare onto the street and onto Rockefeller's property.
Rockefeller said he has asked many times for the lights to be modified, but his requests have been ignored. Rockefeller said the light has caused him harm by reducing the value of his property, according to the complaint.
Wolf's attorney, Stephen Hanscom of Rockland, said the complaint is factually inaccurate, and that his client has made changes to the light system to accommodate Rockefeller.
He said Wolf does not keep the lights on all year because she only spends four of five months in the area. He added the system operates on a timer that shuts off the lights at 10:30 p.m. each night.
In November 2012, the town issued a notice of violation for "stray, dazzling light", and the violation notice ordered Wolf to adjust or shield her property's exterior lights so they did not shine on abutting properties, said the complaint.
Hanscom said the town withdrew the violation, in part because of changes made by Wolf, and added the code enforcement officer reviewed the system in August and found no violations.
The property owners, according to Rockefeller, did not adjust the system, and the town did not take further action to enforce the ordinance because of a grandfathering issue.
The conduct of Cove Cottage constitutes a private nuisance, and the plaintiff seeks the court grant an injunction prohibiting the defendant from maintaining the lighting system unless it does not cast a glaring light onto abutting properties.
Rockefeller is represented by Portland attorney David A. Soley.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 118
Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.
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