LVD News

It is a permit Starbird has been seeking since he handed in his building permit application on May 14, 2010.
Code Enforcement Officer Ken Pratt's subsequent determination that Starbird's property didn't have sufficient frontage on a town-accepted road — or a proper right of way to the town-accepted portion of York Road — touched off a legal firestorm that ended Tuesday when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Starbird's favor.
“We're not really happy, but we'll abide with the decision,” Selectman Dean Campbell said.
Commenting on the court's ruling, the town's attorney, Norman Rattey, said, “Case closed.”
Rattey noted that the court, in examining the language of Minot's land-use code, determined that Starbird's interpretation of the term "right of way" included “a public easement.”
That was important because it went to the heart of Starbird's argument.
Starbird had argued that the unaccepted portion of York Road, which his property fronts, is a public easement which he can use as his right of way to York Road.
“Starbird won his case, but in the meantime the town has amended its ordinance to specifically say that a public easement can't qualify as a right of way. It's not going to happen again,” Rattey said.
Town Administrator Arlan Saunders noted that while the court decision applies to a single building permit to build one house, Starbird has indicated that he might like to build more houses under the ordinance's provision for development on back lots.
“Chuck will get his building permit, one building permit. It will be up to Ken and the Planning Board to see if he is allowed a back lot,” Saunders said.

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