Land use violations persist uncorrected

Lincolnville selectmen authorize court action against landowner

By Jenna Lookner | Dec 12, 2012

Lincolnville — Lincolnville Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Dec. 10 to authorize legal action in the persistent matter of a pair of land use violations committed by Levenseller Pond landowner Richard Rosenberg.

Rosenberg last appeared before the board on Nov. 13 to air his grievances. The board remained mostly quiet during that meeting, at the advice of Town Administrator David Kinney.

"The Board of Selectmen has no jurisdiction over this matter and the appeal period for Mr. Rosenberg to appeal the Board of Appeals decision to Superior Court is still open," Kinney stated in a newsletter to selectmen, advising the board not to engage in a discussion of Rosenberg's situation.

Rosenberg has had a number of legal wranglings with the town in the past, according to previously published reports.

During the most recent dispute, Rosenberg was issued a stop work order by Lincolnville Code Enforcement Officer Frank Therio on Aug. 27.

Rosenberg constructed a pier and what he refers to as a barge on the shore on his property on Levenseller Pond. He proceeded with both projects without being issued a permit from the town for either, according to town officials. Rosenberg appeared before the Board of Appeals at a meeting Oct. 11 and The Board of Appeals upheld Therio's August decision, according to a previous interview with Kinney.

Rosenberg's option for further protesting the decision by the board of appeals would have required him to file in Superior Court, Kinney said. The window for Rosenberg to file has passed, Kinney said Dec. 11.

Kinney said the town previously pursued legal action against Rosenberg after a different land use violation came to a head in August 2011. Kinney said the town commenced court action against Rosenberg in Waldo County District Court at that time on a violation of the land use ordinance resulting from Rosenberg's removal of natural vegetation in the shoreland buffer zone, said Kinney.

Rosenberg was ordered to remove crushed stone and impervious materials and replace indigenous plants. He was also issued a judgment totaling $23,046.65, Kinney said. He added the judgment has not been paid and court-ordered corrective actions had not been taken as of Dec. 11, more than a year later.

Kinney said the board unanimously approved a suggested motion contained in the Dec. 7 newsletter to selectmen. The motion authorizes Town Attorney Sally Daggett "to take any and all action — including, without limitation, filing in state court for the land use violations recently identified by the CEO and pursuing contempt of court proceedings for land use violations identified by the CEO is 2011 that have not yet been cured," as stated in the newsletter.

Kinney said he expects the town attorney will commence court action in early 2013.

Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at jlookner@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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