To: Members of the Pine Point Residents Group, others on the Pine Point Mailing List and other Interested Parties:
As previously communicated, a meeting of the Pine Point Residents Group and any other interested parties is scheduled for:
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 th at the Fire Station at 7:00.
Public Access on Depot Street
Town Ordinance Regarding Changes of Ownership of Hotels & Motels
Conversion of Lighthouse Inn to 22 Condominiums
Ron Owens & Jeff Messer on “Mediation”
Future of Group, Leadership
When Paul Hollis of Coastal Properties contracted to purchase the large vacant lot across from the Lighthouse Motel, the Pine Point Residents Group accepted the invitation to provide input and ultimately endorsed the proposal to the Planning Board based on tangible benefits the Town would receive, not the least of which included a 3200 SF parcel of land for public use and several conditions the developer agreed to for the benefit of the public.
We recently met with John Wiggin, President of the Homeowners Assn. at the Beachwalk Subdivision (Mr. Hollis is no longer involved in the project having vested his rights to the Assn.). We expressed concerns about the summer work, the fear other agreements Mr. Hollis made might not be honored, the water main break and other issues of concern. Mr. Wiggin agreed to present these concerns to the lot owners for their consideration. We will outline their response to you on the 9 th and, if you endorse an “agreement” will present it to the Town.
Mr. Wiggin has agreed to suspend all construction on the site (the public road construction is almost finished, he stated), during the week of August 5 th . Mr Wiggin and the other Beachwalk lot owners have no obligation to entertain our ideas but expressed a desire to work with the Residents Group. The Town Manager supports this effort.
PUBLIC ACCESS ON DEPOT STREET
We will provide an update on the status of improving access to the public road and the access to the new Town property surrounded by the Beachwalk Subdivision's private road. You may recall the Residents Group representatives worked with the Town Manager in the spring of 2006 toward solving the long-term problems associated with the Road Barricade at King and Depot Streets to provide full access to the public road which had been essentially privatized in recent years. The Town Council ultimately decided on a compromise solution providing greater access to the public road while protecting motel guests and the permanent barricade was substantially reduced. Now that the Town owns a parcel of land from the Beachwalk, we are interested in how that will be used for the benefit of the public.
TOWN ORDINANCE REGARDING CHANGES OF OWNERSHIP OF HOTELS & MOTELS (So-called Condo-tel Ordinance)
We have been monitoring the so called “condotel” issue which has created new challenges for both the Town and the Pine Point neighborhood. There are several non-conforming hotels and motels in Scarborough. Some may wish to change their ownership to create condos. This ordinance seeks to provide some controls and provide direction to Code Enforcement. The proposed ordinance received its first reading March 7th by the Town Council. It was referred to the Council's ordinance committee and was back on the Council agenda on July 18 th . They have referred it to the Planning Board for an opinion and that board will hold a public hearing Monday, August 6 th at 7:00. We have sent some points to consider to the Council and Board.
CONVERSION OF THE LIGHTHOUSE INN TO 22 CONDOMINIUMS
When the issue of conversion of the Lighthouse Motel to condominiums occurred in 2005 many neighbors particpated in the public process through the Zoning Board and in four neighborhood meetings that summer. The initial proposal called for a land exchange with the Town. The Residents Group formed and supported the final design of 5 units while urging the Town negotiate a benefit for the community in return for helping the motel owners. We requested the Town begin a study of the end of the Pine Point Rd. regarding specifics of the land exchange and the barricade with the goal of enhancing public access to the shore. The Town Council agreed, established the committee, and meetings were held for 8 months until the motel owners withdrew their proposal stating they wanted more units than the 5 units agreed to.
We also learned that the five condo plan we endorsed in 2005 has now become 22 units. The owners filed their “Declaration of Condominium” in the Resgitry of Deeds 12 days after the Town Council considered the new ordinance regulating conversions. This is the sequence:
March 7: Town Council Agenda: The Town Council considers an Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance concerning “Change of Ownership of Guest Rooms in Non-conforming Hotels and Motels.” Refers to Ordinance Committee.
March 19: Owners of the Lighthouse Motel record “Declaration of Lighthouse Inn Condominium” and By-Laws of an Association creating 22 units.
April 2: Town records a notice in the Registry to “prospective purchasers of units” at the Lighthouse Inn alerting them to the current ordinance.
July 18: Town Council considers modified ordinance draft, refers to the Planning Board.
August 6: Planning Board Public Hearing on Ordinance
Public input is critical on this issue. Council Chair Jeff Messer has assured the public that ample time would be provided for public input. This ordinance would apply to all pending projects if adopted as written.
As you probably know, the owners of the Lighthouse Motel have erected a substantial fence along the parking area obliterating public views from Depot St. (photo attached). An e-mail message was forwarded on Friday, July 27th to the Town Manager requesting action. His response is included as Exhibit A. We have also been in communication with DEP and just learned that a permit was issued for the fence although we were told earlier by DEP staff solid fences were not permitted in the back dune zone. An appeal of the decision must be made within 30 days by a direct abutter. That time period expired Friday the 27 th .
TOWN MANAGER RON OWENS & COUNCIL CHAIR JEFF MESSER ON “MEDIATION”
As you will read in Mr. Owens' message about the fence (Exhibit A), he has referenced a “simmering feud” which he and Jeff Messer feel should be addressed through mediation. We do not believe the Group has engaged in a “feud” but has merely expressed a collective view on issues of public policy which is our right as citizens. We have consistently refused to engage in personal attacks. According to them, this perception is out there. That is unfortunate and hard to overcome. The Group is asked to consider this proposal from the Town.
FUTURE OF THE GROUP, LEADERSHIP
It has been a long process with many issues. We've done our best. The group is asked to consider its future and leadership. Perhaps, given the events of the past few weeks, there is an alternative strategy for ensuring that the public is involved in this process.
Whether it's Dunstan Crossing, Black Point Park, the High School Addition, Artificial Turf, Solar Panels, the Wildlife Sanctuary or any of dozens of issues, better decisions get made when people become involved and help the Town make better policy. We have had some success. We slowed down a rapid process which would have had tremendous impact on the neighborhood. We lobbied successfully for enhanced access to the shore, we worked hard to get a piece of land for the community in the Beachwalk project, we communicated so people are informed. Our work has been honorable and persistent. Now where do we go from here given the perceptions that are out there?
OTHER ISSUES ?
Please make every effort to attend on THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 th and let others know of the meeting.
Look forward to seeing you on the 9 th . Thank you very much.
Judy, Jack, John, Hutch, Elaine
For more information and history, visit www.pinepointbeach.com
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 3:58 PM
To: Ron Owens; Jeff Messer
Subject: Re: RE: Pine Point Update
To Ronald Owens:
We would like to inform our group about what action the Town intends to take to have the stockade fence removed which was installed July 26, 2007 between the parking strip at the Lighthouse Inn, the Beachwalk development and the Town property in Pine Point.
You undoubtedly know what an insult this is to the neighborhood, to the general public whose ocean views from the public road have been substantially obliterated, to the new lot owners at Beachwalk, to the citizens of Scarborough who own a parcel of land there, and to all who visit there to enjoy the beauty of the shore and now have a substantial barricade to gaze upon.
We believe the Town has the ability to take action to have this embarrassment to Scarborough and its citizens removed. It will take courage and fortitude by Town officials to confront this latest action, but the community has endured enough.
John Callahan, Harold Hutchinson, Elaine Richer, John Thurlow, Judy Shirk
July 27, 2007
From: Ron Owens [mailto:ROwens@ci.scarborough.me.us]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 4:27 PM
To: Pine-Point-Beach@maine.rr.com; ContactMesser
Cc: Judy Shirk; Jack Callahan; Elaine Richer; email@example.com; Dan Bacon; David Grysk
Subject: RE: RE: Pine Point Update
Judy, Jack, Hutch, Elaine and John,
Unfortunately there is nothing the town can do from a legal perspective. The Trumans have erected their fence for whatever reasons but they are within their legal rights to do what they have done. In may not be viewed as a neighborly gesture and the necessity for this fence may not be understood but they have acted after consulting with the code office which also viewed the fence after it was installed to insure there were no violations.
This kind of incident can only be resolved through some sort of dialogue between the Trumans, their neighbors and the association. I would be willing to contact and employ a mediator to speak with all parties and convene a meeting to discuss this most recent incident as well as the much larger issue. Let me know if the association would be willing to participate and I will then contact the Trumans to solicit their participation.
Somehow we have to bring this simmering feud to a halt and work out a compromise. Hopefully a third party neutral could attempt to find a common ground. All issues, conflicts and history needs to be laid on the table for discussion without any position on how to resolve these conflicts. First they need to be vetted, then openly discussed and then those directly involved committed to search for a solution without any restriction of what can be considered to create a workable compromise.
The Trumans are being copied on this e-mail and I recommend that any future correspondence dealing with the lighthouse motel include them as a first step in creating a meaningful dialogue.
Town of Scarborough
The “Residents Group” is an informal group of citizens who gather to deliberate local issues and present Position Statements to government officials. We only represent our members' collective positions. The Pine Point Ladies Auxiliary, Friends of Pine Point (formerly the Pine Point Association), Pillsbury Shores Association, and the various local established homeowners associations are different organizations. The Group also maintains an e-mail list to share information with members and non-members. We do not release the addresses of members on the list unless requested or authorized to do so by our members.