A federal judge has approved a consent agreement in two lawsuits, allowing Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay to move ahead with a $30 million expansion already well underway.
U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy signed the decree Tuesday, nearly three weeks after hearing arguments by attorneys for the botanical gardens, the town of Boothbay and the Anthony family, whose property abuts the gardens and who were named as intervenors in the suit.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens may now complete all construction as initially approved by the Boothbay Planning Board, according to the decree. A November 2017 decision by the Boothbay Board of Appeals to overturn that building permit is vacated.
The town has agreed that the botanical gardens will be treated as “substantially similar to and compatible with an educational facility,” something the Anthony family and other strenuously objected to.
The gardens will agree to place a permanent conservation easement on 75 acres of its land within the watershed of Knickerbocker Lake, which neighbors argued was too fragile and could not withstand further deterioration.
The botanical gardens dismissed its claims against the town as part of the settlement, with prejudice, meaning they cannot be filed again.
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