November 14, 2019
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No settlement yet between town, pizza parlor owners as they await court ruling

Deb Cram | The York Weekly
Deb Cram | The York Weekly
Spiro Paras, whose family's pizza parlor has been closed since 2010 during a years-long dispute with the town of York over permitting, stands near the business in a 2015 file photo from The York Weekly.

YORK, Maine — A district court judge has still not rendered a decision in the Paras Pizza case, 12 days after he announced he would do so.

York District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz was expected to rule in the case of the Town of York vs. Ernest, Eleni and Spiro Paras by June 28, following a trial at the end of May. As of late Monday of this week, he had not yet filed his decision.

At the same time, the two sides have also not settled the case, as Moskowitz had urged them to do.

At issue is a so-called 80K district court appeal by the town Code Enforcement Office. An 80K action is brought over a land use case when a municipality is unable to gain compliance with a party.

It has now been a decade since the Paras Pizza building at 16 Railroad Ave. came under scrutiny by the town, and nine years since its tenants were required to vacate the building, which was shut down after the town issued a stop-work order.

Trial testimony indicated a town and a family at loggerheads: the town says Spiro Paras would get permits over the years, refuse to allow inspections as required, and then allow the permits to expire without work being completed. Code Enforcement Officer Amber Harrison said the town is willing to work with the family, but Spiro Paras has to show a good faith effort to work with them.

Paras says he was caught in a Catch-22, where the town would issue stop-work orders, which wouldn’t allow him to do the work he wanted to do. “The town or affiliated entities made it difficult to finish the project. We couldn’t correct the violations because we couldn’t get permits,” Paras told the judge.

 



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