DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A proposed developer claimed Monday that the town changed rules midstream as he was seeking permission to build a mobile home park on his Route 7 property.
Resident James Loring expressed frustration to selectmen at a public hearing Monday that the proposed land use ordinance would prohibit his proposal to develop 14 mobile home lots on a 30-acre rural parcel. Residents will vote on the ordinance Nov. 3.
“I think this is just because someone doesn’t want it in their backyard,” Loring said, referring to his neighbor George Barton, a planning board member.
Loring met with the town’s code enforcement officer last year before he purchased the property. He said he was advised the zoning would not prohibit a mobile home park in the location and was told to get an engineering study done. Loring did that, he said, and submitted an application to the planning board, but the application was called incomplete.
The application Loring filed earlier this year came as the town was crafting a new land use ordinance to be consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan. Three days after Loring filed his application, at the planning board’s request, selectmen approved a moratorium on any new subdivisions or mobile home parks until the No-vember vote.
Barton said Monday the comprehensive plan and the proposed ordinance encourages cluster development in the village region where public water and sewer is provided. Such a move, he said, would increase the number of ratepayers, which would spread the indebtedness of the systems to a greater number of customers. In addi-tion, the move would preserve the rural zone for open space, farming and forestland.
Barton said that once a mobile home park is defined, the town loses most of its regulatory authority regarding lot size and it loses the opportunity to control future expansion.
Loring said the comprehensive plan specifies that cluster development is encouraged in both the village and rural areas. “I just don’t understand how this can be so blatant,” he said, referring to the proposed ordinance.
“I just feel I’ve been wronged and I want to know who should be responsible for all the money that I’ve spent on buying the property and putting the engineering into the property, because that’s what I was required to do by the town,” Loring said. “I was told by the town it was no problem, all I had to do was to follow the regu-lations, and now I’m being told suck it up. I just don’t think it’s right.”