Oxford Appeals Board hearing case against business

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Coastline Homes on Route 26 in Oxford is developing a modular home sales site that is expected to open this spring. The Appeals Board will hold a hearing this week on the approval of the business’ site plan review application.

OXFORD — Two longtime Route 26 modular home business owners will face off before the Appeals Board on Wednesday over the approval of a Site Plan Review for Coastline Homes.

The board will hear the appeal of John Palmer of Oxford, manager of Palmer Realty, at 6:30 p.m. April 12, at the Town Office on Route 121.

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Palmer is appealing the Planning Board’s Feb. 23 decision to grant the Site Plan Review application of Schiavi Properties to open up Coastline Homes, a retail modular and mobile home sales center at 488 Main St.

The new business will offer modular and manufactured housing from several companies. Initially, there will be three doublewide and six singlewide homes on the lot, Scott Stone of Schiavi Custom Builders said. Pads have been poured and some buildings have been put on site. Stone said he expects the business to be operating this spring.

Palmer, a member of the Appeals Board, and his wife, Mary Anna, own Alternative Modular Homes at 470 Main St., which is more than 30 years old. That business and Coastline Homes are separated by an empty lot and a home.

Alternative Modular Homes is engaged in custom modular homes, site preparation, site selection and location, additions and improvements, according to its web page. Palmer and his wife are also real estate brokers.

The Coastline Homes site is between two residences facing Route 26 and in front of the Big Rig Shop, a truck repair shop owned by Floyd Thayer, and Ed Thayer Inc. a trucking service, both at 502 Main St.

In his administrative appeal, Palmer alleged the Planning Board failed to comply with several site plan review criteria, including performance standards, a public hearing and other requirements.

Palmer said the Planning Board did not attach any “reasonable conditions” to the Site Plan Review Approval form to “ensure conformity with the standards and criteria of the ordinance.”

He said the application included 60 specific criteria, none of which were checked or waived with an explanation of the waiver.

He said, in part, that the name of owner of record is incorrect, some answers were not given or were incomplete.

Further, he said the Planning Board failed to request additional information on what he called “major conditions” that he knows exist or have existed on the property, and that adverse conditions were not taken into consideration including the following:

• Mature trees on the west end of the lot were cut and buried;

• The lot has been recently filled, raising its elevation;

• There was an automobile repair shop owned by Fay B. Roberts and operating on the lot previously;

• Water in a well dug when the lot was occupied by The Green Spot farm stand around 2010 had a sheen on the surface;

• There is surface water runoff into Palmer’s parcel with a sheen on the surface “which has increased substantially” since the trees were cut and buried; and

• The Planning Board did not attach “reasonable” conditions to ensure conformity with the standards and criteria of the ordinance.

Appeals Board members are Palmer, Clyde Holt, Kathleen Jackson Dillingham, Joel Haslett and Jocelyn Bradbury. Palmer is expected to recuse himself from the vote.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net

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