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Deer Isle, Isle au Haut and Stonington, Maine.
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by Jonathan Thomas
Voting 5-0, the Deer Isle Board of Appeals voted on July 11 to uphold the Deer Isle Planning Board’s May 17 denial of an application from Kevin McMunigal to raze an existing non-conforming structure and replace it with a new one further back from the shore that would still be non-conforming. (See Island Ad-Vantages June 28 issue.)
The closest point of the proposed new structure would be nearly 58 feet from the shore, which would be within the 75-foot setback requirement. The existing structure is set back 33 feet. The lot is on Vera’s Way, Little Deer Isle (map 35, lot 11).
Peter d’Entremont, of Knight Associates - Architects, presented McMunigal’s case for reversing the planning board’s denial. He said that while he respected that board’s reasoning, he felt that the proposed plan would be better for the site. The application’s supporting letter said, “We feel this proposal presents a good balance of minimizing visual impact and site disruption, and therefore represents the best tradeoff of the ordinance language that wants any new structure to be completely conforming ‘to the greatest practical extent.’”
The planning board had written in its conclusions of law statement, “It is the Board’s finding that there is no compelling reason that the new structure and accessory structures cannot be designed and sited to be in compliance with the ordinance.”
During their deliberation, several appeals board members acknowledged the validity of the appellant’s arguments, while concluding that they did not see a way to go against the ordinance and the planning board’s earlier decision to strictly comply with it.
Architect d’Entremont said on July 17 that he was working on a revised application that would conform to the 75-foot setback for presentation at the planning board’s next meeting on July 19.
The appeals board will have a working session on July 23 and a regular meeting on July 25 to vote on the final wording of its decision.
Appeals board members present and voting were George Aldrich (chairman), Anthony Eaton (vice-chairman), Rosemary Eaton (secretary), Holly Eaton (assistant secretary), and Danny Hypes. Alternate Thomas McGuire participated in the discussion. Code Enforcement Officer Hubert Billings assisted during the meeting. Present in the audience were McMunigal, Tara Broderick, and Bill Wiegmann.