Media Archive

Planning board members seek review of Sebec Village Shops plan

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 48, November 27, 2002

SEBEC Planning board members Walter Emmons and Mary Downs submitted a complaint to selectmen last week alleging permit violations at Sebec Village Shops.

The complaint alleges that E. Forbes Smiley III, owner of the business, developed the lot beyond the 20 percent lot coverage allowed in the shoreland zoning ordinance.

According to Emmons, the buildings, porches and a new driveway/parking lot cover 31 percent of the property.

"You can't permit beyond the [20 percent] amount," he told selectmen.

Emmons said he feels the town should act, or else be held liable for negligence for not upholding the state-mandated shoreland zoning laws.

He said the planning board has written to Smiley and his Portland-based attorney, Gregory Cunningham, seeking an updated site plan for the project that shows the location of the new public water supply well and septic system, as well as supporting information. The board also is seeking a boundary survey to define the I site, copies of any easements, a copy of the deed, evidence of the property's development prior to construction to determine vegetative coverage of lot, a plan showing future vegetation when site work is completedand a calculation for the percentage of vegetative cover for before and after the development.

Emmons outlined his concerns about the property to selectmen Nov. 18 and asked the board to forward a complaint to the town's code enforcement officer. Bill Murphy, for review and possible action.

He said that Smiley's representatives presented a site plan that is now outdated, as it does not include a wrap-around porch and driveway/parking lot area.

Downs said she would like to see an updated site plan, including the easement from Sebec Village Associates aka The Sebec Reading Room. There is concern about the easement, which will allow Smiley to install a new septic system on the adjacent property owned by SVA, she said.

"I want an updated site plan,including the easement ... I want to be able to look at the site plan and know everything they've done from day one," Downs said. "I want them to prove what they're doing is OK."

Emmons said he feels that Smiley and his representatives should have come back to the planning board with updates on the site plan, as they became apparent.

'I think we have an obligation to have the correct information in our files. We have an obligation to uphold the laws of the town and the state " he said.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.