Turner residents appeal Hannaford case to highest court

LISBON — Turner homeowners seeking to halt Hannaford Supermarkets' plans to build a store in their village argued before the state's highest court Friday that the town and a lower court were wrong not to block the proposed development.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court held proceedings in the Lisbon High School gymnasium on Friday to hear arguments on an appeal in the case of neighbors versus Hannaford and the town of Turner.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, left, and Justice Jon D. Levy listen as the Maine Supreme Judicial Court holds proceedings in the Lisbon High School gymnasium Friday to hear arguments on an appeal in the case of neighbors versus Hannaford and the town of Turner.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Lisbon High School students listen as the Maine Supreme Judicial Court holds proceedings in the gymnasium on Friday on an appeal in the case of neighbors versus Hannaford and the town of Turner.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court took its bench on the road, hearing this and two other appeals at Lisbon High School in front of an audience of students.

Jeffrey Thaler, who represents Turner homeowners, including Susan Bizier, told the seven-member panel of judges that the Turner Planning Board should have ruled that the scale and appearance of the proposed building does not relate in "harmonious conformity" to surrounding lots, where the footprints of residential structures average 1,000 square feet. The proposed store would be roughly 36,000 square feet.

Thaler also argued that the town and, on appeal, the Superior Court, erred when they concluded that Hannaford's proposed site plan would not result in an illegal, nonconforming lot.

In his 15-minute argument before the court, Thaler said that in the process of creating the lot on which the store would be built, Hannaford would be reducing the size of an abutting lot, called the Jordan lot. That lot would lose enough of its road frontage to Hannaford that the Jordan lot would become an illegal lot that wouldn't conform to zoning ordinances, he said.

"The Planning Board erred as a matter of law," he said. "No lot shall be reduced or created in that way and no permits ... shall be issued until all lots, both the Hannaford and the Jordan lot, fulfill that initial regulation."

The size of the proposed store would dwarf homes in the area, Thaler said. "It's our position that 36 times, as a matter of law ... cannot be in good scale or conformity with the permanent neighborhood around it."

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley noted that commercial buildings, such as grocery stores, are typically larger than 1,000 square feet.

"Your position is that a supermarket cannot be placed in the village," she said.

Thaler agreed that the store Hannaford has proposed cannot be put there.

Catherine Connors, attorney for Hannaford, said the lot would have "plenty of frontage" on Jordan Lane, a right of way that connects to a public street. That's allowed under the ordinance, she said.

Justice Warren Silver said the proposed supermarket would appear to outsize its surrounding buildings, if built.

"It does seem to be the largest thing in that area ... much larger than all of the neighboring structures," he said. "Is that a problem for you?"

"No, your honor," Connors said. The town has no size restrictions. "Shopping centers are specifically allowed in this district."

At the Planning Board's suggestion, Hannaford redesigned its proposed building to include clapboards and gables.

Thaler raised the question of whether the court was the proper venue for appealing the Planning Board's decision, or whether the matter should be sent back to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals.

A decision on the appeal isn't expected from the court for months.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Susan Bizier's picture

The Store Next Door......literally!!

I live "behind" the NEW STORE everyone else wants...I will be less then 75 feet from the trucks at night, plowing the lot with there reverse beepers on, the lights of a lot and >50 feet of the tractor trailers entering and exiting at all hours of the night....................this road also houses the transfer station for the town of Turner, imagine the residents traffic on tuesday, friday and saturday WITH a JUMBO store in its path. This store will not have an entrance and exit ON RT 4 it will have it's entrances on SNELL HILL RD. The store entrance will be opposite the Dosties driveway..........the tractor trailer entrance will be directly across from the Woodwards home n driveway, who I may add, have 3 young daughters being raised there!! These will also be < 50 feet from the new store!!...................BUILD IT UP THE ROAD... NOT in the middle of 6 or 7 family homes. I did not move to Turner for this......there is a Shaws less then 8 miles up the road on Rt 4 and a Food City < one mile from our home. NOT IN OUR DOORYARD!! IF YOU HAD THIS STORE COMING IN LESS THEN 50 FEET FROM YOUR FRONT AND BACK YARDS, YOU'D SURE FEEL DIFFERENT!!!! After 23 years here, I DON'T WANT TO MOVE!! I have paid my taxes faithfully, and schooled my kids here, I want to retire here, in my little town, NOT PORTLAND!! Move it up the road, since there is plenty of places on Rt 4 with no homes , just land....buy it n build it there!! NOT on our river, not on the wetlands, just saying.............it's not being placed properly.....................PLUS IT IS ILLEGAL IN MAKING A BACK LOT! Move it!!!

Leo Bernard's picture

Jobs.

Jobs for those students ?

Hannaford

What is wrong with these ppl anyway? Do they not realize that this would only increase their property values. Do they not realize that this would decrease their tax burden somewhat? It appears to me that these ppl have nothing better to do than find fault with something that will increase their already stressed community, they need to get a life and do whats right for the betterment of their community.

Susan Bizier's picture

The store next door..............

I live "behind" the NEW STORE everyone else wants...I will be less then 75 feet from the trucks at night, plowing the lot with there reverse beepers on, the lights of a lot and >50 feet of the tractor trailers entering and exiting at all hours of the night....................this road also houses the transfer station for the town of Turner, imagine the residents traffic on tuesday, friday and saturday WITH a JUMBO store in its path. This store will not have an entrance and exit ON RT 4 it will have it's entrances on SNELL HILL RD. The store entrance will be opposite the Dosties driveway..........the tractor trailer entrance will be directly across from the Woodwards home n driveway, who I may add, have 3 young daughters being raised there!! These will also be < 50 feet from the new store!!...................BUILD IT UP THE ROAD... NOT in the middle of 6 or 7 family homes. I did not move to Turner for this......there is a Shaws less then 8 miles up the road on Rt 4 and a Food City < one mile from our home. NOT IN OUR DOORYARD!! IF YOU HAD THIS STORE COMING IN LESS THEN 50 FEET FROM YOUR FRONT AND BACK YARDS, YOU'D SURE FEEL DIFFERENT!!!! After 23 years here, I DON'T WANT TO MOVE!! I have paid my taxes faithfully, and schooled my kids here, I want to retire here, in my little town, NOT PORTLAND!! Move it up the road, since there is plenty of places on Rt 4 with no homes , just land....buy it n build it there!! NOT on our river, not on the wetlands, just saying.............it's not being placed properly.....................PLUS IT IS ILLEGAL IN MAKING A BACK LOT! Move it!!!

David  Cote's picture

"Not in my town"

That's what this fight amounts to. Here's a company choosing to set up business in a smaller town, and in the process, create jobs and the locals are fighting it. Why? Traffic considerations? Added competition to another store down the road? Hannaford has built stores in towns like Gray and Waterboro and I've never heard complaints about upsetting the "harmonious conformity" of the surrounding area. What a crock of crap. If you don't want Hannaford to build in Turner then be honest about why you feel that way.

Susan Bizier's picture

The store next door..........

I live "behind" the NEW STORE everyone else wants...I will be less then 75 feet from the trucks at night, plowing the lot with there reverse beepers on, the lights of a lot and >50 feet of the tractor trailers entering and exiting at all hours of the night....................this road also houses the transfer station for the town of Turner, imagine the residents traffic on tuesday, friday and saturday WITH a JUMBO store in its path. This store will not have an entrance and exit ON RT 4 it will have it's entrances on SNELL HILL RD. The store entrance will be opposite the Dosties driveway..........the tractor trailer entrance will be directly across from the Woodwards home n driveway, who I may add, have 3 young daughters being raised there!! These will also be < 50 feet from the new store!!...................BUILD IT UP THE ROAD... NOT in the middle of 6 or 7 family homes. I did not move to Turner for this......there is a Shaws less then 8 miles up the road on Rt 4 and a Food City < one mile from our home. NOT IN OUR DOORYARD!! IF YOU HAD THIS STORE COMING IN LESS THEN 50 FEET FROM YOUR FRONT AND BACK YARDS, YOU'D SURE FEEL DIFFERENT!!!! After 23 years here, I DON'T WANT TO MOVE!! I have paid my taxes faithfully, and schooled my kids here, I want to retire here, in my little town, NOT PORTLAND!! Move it up the road, since there is plenty of places on Rt 4 with no homes , just land....buy it n build it there!! NOT on our river, not on the wetlands, just saying.............it's not being placed properly.....................PLUS IT IS ILLEGAL IN MAKING A BACK LOT! Move it!!!

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...