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Neighbors raise concerns about subdivision near Lermond Pond

Planning Board member resigns
By Daniel Dunkle | Mar 05, 2021
The proposed Catalano subdivision.

Hope — Rick Catalano told the Planning Board March 3 he was not very happy with his neighbors over the controversy kicked up over his proposed three-lot subdivision on Hackleburnham Road near Lermond Pond.

“It has turned into almost a nightmare,” he said in a Zoom meeting.

Catalano has a parcel of more than 30 acres along the road at the corner with Lake Road. Part of his property is on the lake. He previously divided off four acres of it and sold it to Nathan Pease. He now wants to divide another 2-acre parcel along Hackleburnham Road to sell to another person. This meets the technical definition of a three-lot subdivision.

A small group of neighbors tuned in for the online meeting and expressed concerns about potential development of the area. The neighbors do not want to see an influx of new houses, new lake front access, more boat traffic or traffic on the roads.

Eleanor Stone said she put in a Freedom of Access Act request for copies of the plan to the town, but withdrew the request after receiving pushback. She said she also posted signs nearby that were there for about three days opposing the project.

Catalano said it is not his intention to develop the land along the water or to grant access to the lake to the buyers of the property. He did not agree to putting in writing a requirement that there be no future development or access, noting that he has six children and there may be a desire to do something with the property in the future.

He also argued he should be allowed to do what is legally allowable with his own land.

Stone asked if the town could create an ordinance outlawing subdivisions, saying Owls Head had such an ordinance.

Planning Board Chair Langley Willauer noted that Owls Head does not have as much undeveloped land as the town of Hope.

Willauer proposed tabling the project to a future meeting. Other board members pushed for trying to approve the project that night.

Willauer said a better survey of the specific property was needed. The board voted to ask Catalano to provide the improved survey information for a future meeting and tabled the discussion.

Next on the agenda was a site plan review for S & H Tires, owned by Shane Stockbridge at 294 Hatchet Mountain Road. The business is apparently a small operation in which Stockbridge mounts tires for customers by appointment.

As part of the proposal, a 30-foot fence would be added to the property to provide screening.

Willauer said Stockbridge needs to obtain a business license from the town.

The Planning Board chair estimated there were hundreds of tires on site. He asked if Stockbridge knew how many tires the limit was before needing a Maine Department of Environmental Protection permit, which he did not.

Willauer said the property should also be looked at to determine whether, in the event of a tire fire emergency vehicles could gain access.

The board accepted the application as complete and set a public hearing for Wednesday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m.

The board also reviewed the site plan for Sweet Tree Arts for 293 Ludwig Road.

The application is for a change of use to a school. The property has been owned by Coastal Workshops, Inc.

The application with the town says the use will be as a satellite location for Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School.

Sweet Tree Arts is a nonprofit located at 4 Church St. in Hope.

The Ludwig Road property has previously served as a school and is ADA-accessible.

Lindsay Pinchbeck met with the board on behalf of Sweet Tree Arts. The board members expressed support for the project and found the application complete.

A public hearing for that project is planned for the March 17 meeting.

It was noted at the meeting that Planning Board member Lewis Merrifield has resigned.

In his March 1 resignation letter he said, "Due to the circus back in town I am resigning as a member of Hope Planning as of 3/1/2021."

The plan for S & H Tires, owned by Shane Stockbridge on Hatchet Mountain Road.
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