CAMDEN —Camden Select Board members approved a motion Nov. 16 to seek court action for an alleged violation of an agreement with owners of 22 Atlantic Avenue for cutting and clearing trees on adjacent town property along Daily Brook.

The allegation is that owners Charles Robert Hefner Jr. and Laura Lee Hefner are refusing to pay for remediation, including design and replanting costs. The owners are required to pay for a restoration plan cited in a Consent Agreement signed in September, according to Town Manager Audra Caler.

The board unanimously approved the Consent Agreement Sept. 7, which levies fines and mandates restoration from the owners for trespassing on town property, cutting trees, grading soil and installing drainage outflow. These actions violate town zoning and tree policy and the owners’ site permits.

The Hefner property is next to town property. Daily Brook runs through the town property and outflows into Camden Harbor, across the road.

The board’s vote to approve legal action was 4 to 1, with Vice Chair Alison McKellar voting against due to a procedural reason.

McKellar said board members have not received a copy of the restoration plan, which was supposed to come back to them for approval. She wanted to know what is in the plan before requesting action on any violation.

The reason for asking the board to approve court action is the owners are resisting paying for site remediation, which includes planting trees, and design for the remediation, according to Caler.

There has been no payment to date for an engineer’s design work, she said. The owners also disagree that the agreement specifies they have to pay for remediation design, and the remediation work.

The Hefners and their attorney are saying what they have paid so far is all they are obligated to pay, Caler said.

Falciani asked if there has been payment for work not related to design.

The owner has paid fines for violations to shoreland and public tree ordinances and for trespass, Caler said.

In addition to remediation, the Consent Agreement also holds the owner responsible for fines the town may incur from Maine Department of Environmental Protection related to tree clearing along the stream, Caler said.

The town’s allegations would go to a judge to decide whether there are violations of the agreement. The town is obligated to go through mediation with the owner, she said.

McKellar asked what the property owners got billed for and how the owners can be billed if the plan has not been approved.

“I don’t know what the plan is. I don’t know if it’s reasonable,” she said.

Caler acknowledged the town received a bill from the engineers and she did not bring it to the board. Falciani said that has to happen.

Caler said it doesn’t matter whether the restoration plan has been approved by the board, because Hefner is asserting he does not need to pay “for any of it.” The reason the board is being asked to approve legal action is to get on the court’s schedule, Falciani said.

McKellar said the court action is something she might agree with, but she wanted to first see the plan.

“It’s hard to wrap my head around what they are not agreeing to,” she said. Caler continued to push back that whatever the board approved, the owner was refusing to pay for it.

Falciani asked if other board members had comments, and none did. When he asked for a motion, board member Sophie Romana read it from Caler’s computer screen.

“I move to authorize the code enforcement office and town attorney to proceed to mediation as referenced in the consent agreement to file a land use complaint in the district court for default of the terms of the Consent Agreement for Heffner at 22 Atlantic Avenue,” she read.

Board member Marc Ratner seconded the motion.

McKellar said what the board was doing was inconsistent with its normal practice of tabling issues due to information they need to read ahead of time not being included in their meeting packet.

Falciani said the board would see the restoration plan at another meeting before any court action takes place.