The head of a marine business hinted that he might build two boat storage buildings without a permit after efforts to get approval from the Rockland Planning Board appeared to hit a legal brick wall.

Bill Morong, chief executive officer of Yachting Solutions Inc., made his comments during a Tuesday night, May 1, meeting of the Planning Board.

Morong asked several times what would be the penalties if he simply built the two structures without a permit.

Yachting Solutions submitted an application in January to construct two fabric buildings — (60 feet by 120 feet and 80 feet by 120 feet). The structures would be located at its site on New County Road, adjacent to Pleasant Street.

The city has said the structures do not meet the design standards in city ordinances and are not in keeping with nearby homes.

Morong had asked if they could be erected on a temporary (two to three years) basis as the Planning Board considered. An opinion issued by the city attorney, however, concluded the Planning Board does not have the authority to waive the design standards.

Morong said an offer by the city to see if the City Council would amend the ordinances to allow for the structures to be erected was not adequate, since it would take a minimum of 90 days for any such changes in the law to be approved and take effect.

The Yachting Solutions CEO said currently he is storing boats on leased space in Searsmont, and that it is costly and inefficient to move boats there for storage when there is property a mile away from the Rockland waterfront.

Code Enforcement Officer John Root advised Morong not to build without a permit.

"I'm not trying to disrespect you. I want to know my options," Morong said at the Tuesday evening meeting.

Morong asked what would happen if he ignored a stop work order from the code office. Root said he could go to court to order a halt to construction.

The penalties for building without a permit are $100 to $2,500 per day. Any penalty could only be imposed by order of a judge.

After the meeting, Morong said his business was being hamstrung by the city and its attorney.

"We need to balance aesthetics with the needs of small businesses," he said. "Small businesses can't waive a magic wand."

He said the cost of the fabric structures would be about $50,000, compared to what he said would be $1.5 million to meet the city's standards.

He said businesses can't grow by incurring debt. He said he could employ an eight people in addition to the 42 he already employs in Rockland if he could erect the buildings.

The Planning Board approved last year one structure on the New County Road site for Yachting Solutions that was said to be temporary. Root said the plan submitted did not show how out of character the building would be. The company followed with its January 2018 application for two more structures.

While not related, Yachting Solutions has also said it wants to expand its marina in Rockland Harbor, a plan being met with strong opposition by many people in the community over the potential impact on moorings and views from the shore.