Appeals meeting Jan. 31

Neighbors oppose take-out stand in Owls Head

By Daniel Dunkle | Jan 30, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham

Owls Head — A large group of neighbors on Ballyhac Road have organized to express opposition to a planned take-out food stand, saying it does not meet the criteria for the town's zoning, would detract from the rural character of the neighborhood and would increase traffic.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is set to meet on the issue Friday, Jan. 31, at 5:30 p.m. at the Owls Head Town Office.

A take-out food stand called Beachside Grill has been proposed on Ballyhac Road, the road that goes from Dublin Road down toward Birch Point State Park. In town documents the project has been listed at both 88 Ballyhac Road and at 90 Ballyhac Road.

Friends of Ballyhac Road, a group of 23 neighbors, have written to the zoning board arguing the project should not be allowed.

The Owls Head Planning Board approved permits for the take-out stand in August 2012, to be operated as a "home occupation/home-based" business.

The group argues it does not meet the zoning criteria for a home-based business and instead is a commercial restaurant. The property is in the town's rural-residential zone, which does not allow commercial businesses or restaurants, according to the ordinance.

The group said they are also concerned about increased noise, litter, smells and traffic.

Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 122 or

Comments (12)
Posted by: Nicole L Nichols | Feb 04, 2014 17:20

The food will be awesome. Basic fare will be offered. Burgers hotdogs fries. Also seafood options. It will be staffed mainly by Lary, myself and our children. Menus will be posted in the spring before he opens.

Posted by: Candy Perry | Feb 03, 2014 21:37

Darn it! Excuse my typos. If Larry really wanted to promote his business he should say how awesome the food will be but he hasn't.

Posted by: Candy Perry | Feb 03, 2014 21:02

Glen we did not have a year and half to do anything. That was the point. We knew nothing of this until the article came out. I Haved lived longer than 1979 in this neighborhood as much as others have. We are not "from away". If you want to make a living with a food stand it's perfectly fine with me. Just do it where it zoned.

Posted by: Nicole L Nichols | Feb 03, 2014 17:22

Lary and I thank Pat, Nina and Glen for your supportive comments and any others who support him in this. 

Myles Rogers (voice of Friends of Bally Hac) said himself "I only found out 2 weeks ago what the business is" at the Jan 31st meeting. 

The board sat and debated in August of 2012 over the towns rules.  At the end of the night there was a consensus of board members to allow the permits, therefore, his business was deemed within town ordnances. 

A reminder, I was with Lary at both town meetings. 

Posted by: Nina Reed | Feb 03, 2014 09:45

i wonder how many people that are against this business actualy lived around here all their lives and how many moved here and bought homes. i have seen people move he re from other states and try to change maine.i know that larry has invested a lot of money in this business and its not fair to stop him from moving forward. thank you, patricia williams

Posted by: Candy Perry | Feb 03, 2014 08:18

This isn't about giving someone an opportunity to make a living. It's about following the rules and regulations a town sets for a community. Who would know that an ugly spray painted old satellite dish would actually mean a non-home based business would be installed? And earthwork? Anyone could do that without putting a non-home based business in. The only people that were notified when the permit was applied for was directly abutting neighbors. I for one only knew what was going in when I read the article about the new business. It takes time to get paperwork together. It's not like January 2014 is when it was realized. I'm Candy Perry and I'm a Friend of Ballyhac Rd.

Posted by: Pat Johnston | Feb 02, 2014 08:44

someone WANTS to work and pay their way in the community-what is wrong with that


Posted by: Pat Johnston | Feb 02, 2014 08:42

someone WANTS to work, paying their way in the community.why would anyone not encourage that.


Posted by: glen r thompson | Feb 01, 2014 20:22

The so-called Friends of Ballyhac Road had nearly year and half to do something constructive to stop this enterprise.   They chose not to.  In between, much time, effort and money has been spent.  I consider this malicious harassment.  I plan on making a special effort to support the Beachside Grill when it opens this summer.

Posted by: Nicole L Nichols | Feb 01, 2014 16:09

Thank you Terri and anyone else that has tried to help me (Lary Keating) overcome these obstacles.   My family has owned this property since 1979 the year we moved to Owls Head .  I’m only asking to allow me the possibility of earning enough to pay the always rising cost of living and taxes here in our community.  As I am getting older myself digging clams has taken a toll on my joints.  This food stand is not only for me, but my children and step childrens' future.

Posted by: Nicole L Nichols | Feb 01, 2014 15:52

I was in attendance to both meetings, August 2012 and Last nights January 31, 2014.

Much of what is in this article was not discussed at the meeting on the 31st.  The board would not allow discussion on the basis that after 30 days from the issuing of the permits appeals are not allowed to be heard.   This point was made multiple times to the organizations lawyer when he attempted to proceed.

I will give you an accurate and substantiated time line of events:

The permits were issued August 2012, this is when the land was started to be cleared.  Spring of 2013 the owner spray painted “Beach Side Grill” on the old 7 foot satellite dish on the property. (Grill implies food vending).

June 2013, Excavation commenced on the property.  This is when the drive way and lawn area were made.  Also the entire area is surrounded by a fence in compliance with permits.  The food vending structure was placed on the property also.  Around that time a representative of the paper came to the site, and interviewed the owner and took pictures which were published last year.  During that interview I personally heard her tell Lary, that she came because neighbors had contacted the paper concerned with the business.

January 2014 the organization submitted an appeal of the permits claiming to have no previous knowledge of the permits or intended use of structure. (another note some of the paperwork had wrong dates and applications had information crossed out).

The board members made it clear to the organization and those in attendance to the meeting that if the organization continues to pursue their appeal and subsequently succeeds in revoking the permits for this business, that the owner can legally appeal that judgment and pursue his own litigation against the town and the organization for reimbursement the money that has been invested in the site.

I still wonder how supposedly 23 neighbors on a single entrance road can drive by this lot for 19 months and claim to not know until January 2014 that a food vending business was going in?  I’m not trying to insult anyone, but come on people, your grasping.  As far as increasing traffic on the road, I don’t dare walk this road with my dogs now in the summer because of the traffic on the beach.  What next?  Close the state beach?  You have to pay to get on the beach.

I am Nicole Nichols.  I am Lary Keatings’ fiancé.  We planned to be married June 7th, 2014.  I will be moving to the attached property with my children.  I worked at PBMC at a registered nurse for 7 years.  I now work for the federal government.  I know the community.

Posted by: terry lee morang | Jan 31, 2014 18:51

 give  people a chance to make a living!

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