OWLS HEAD, Maine — The town has asked to withdraw from a case in which neighbors are appealing a planning board decision to allow a lunch wagon to operate.
The motion was filed Tuesday in Knox County Superior by Owls Head’s attorney, William Dale, in the case of Myles Peter Rogers, Annie Higbee and Reginald LeHouillier, all of Owls Head, who are appealing the approval given to Larry and Donald Keating to operate the Beachside Grill lunch wagon on Ballyhac Road.
The neighbors filed their appeal in February, claiming that the town planning board approved the lunch wagon last August without giving them notice. The neighbors who filed suit said they were not aware of the action until November. The neighbors filed an appeal with the Owls Head Zoning Board of Appeals in January but that board rejected it, saying that it was not filed in time.
The neighbors claim that the lunch wagon’s location, near Birch Point Beach State Park, will likely attract a large number of people during the summer, “overwhelming the property with commercial activity in this rural area.”
Keating filed a response in court saying that would not be the case since the lunch wagon is on the road leading to the popular state park.
“I did nothing back handed or sneaky to obtain the permit,” Keating stated in his court filing.
Owls Head Selectwoman Linda Post said selectmen decided to pull out of the case because the town has already incurred significant legal expenses in a lawsuit to defend its right to maintain an easement on the Coopers Beach Road.
The town has spent about $65,000 on that case which is under advisement by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm. A ruling is expected soon since Justice Hjelm is being appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Post also said that the board feels the neighbors missed the deadline to appeal and believe Keating can defend the case on his own.