LINCOLN, Maine — A Cambolassee Pond resident will remove a recently installed gravel boat launch and re-establish a waterfront buffer zone the resident violated as part of an agreement that will avoid civil court action, Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Davis said Thursday.
Davis and the resident, whom he declined to identify, signed on to the consent agreement this week after Davis noticed the shoreline zoning violation during an inspection last month.
“It’s very fixable and has little impact on the pond, because there is a gravel bottom there anyway,” Davis said Thursday. “They have already put up a silt fence and hay, and they will completely remove the gravel from the boat launch.”
The buffer area will be seeded and its vegetation restored as part of the agreement, said Davis, who visited the property Wednesday to ensure that remediation efforts had been made.
“It worked out well,” Davis said. “This is how I planned to do it, anyway.”
Davis began inspecting the town’s 14 ponds and lakes early last month as one of two such inspections he makes annually. He also responds to complaints or reports of possible violations, he said.
As code enforcement officer, Davis is charged with inspecting the town’s lakes and ponds along with the Penobscot River and its tributaries.
Among other things, Davis searches for violations including erosion, overcutting of trees and shrubs, gravel set too close to shorelines within the state-required setbacks, new buildings or septic systems built without permits and water pollution.
He also works with Maine Department of Environmental Protection officials, town homeowner associations and residents to maintain water quality.
Previous inspections revealed a sunken boat, illegal septic systems, gravel dumped within 75 feet of shore and the overcutting of shoreline trees.
Under state law, violators have 15 days to correct or provide a plan for correcting violations, or they could face civil court action and daily fines ranging from $100 to $2,500.
Davis encourages residents to call 794-3372 if they have questions about potential violations or work they want to do on their properties. He also will work with residents to correct violations rather than seeking fines or taking other punitive measures.
His most recent inspection revealed that the water quality at Upper Coldstream Pond has improved remarkably since last year, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said.
Davis attributed the cleaner water to the efforts of pond association owners working with him to improve water quality.
The town installed for the first time this summer a boat launch to Upper Coldstream Pond, which is also known as the Big Narrows.