OTISFIELD – Peaco Hill Road resident Gordon Chamberlain received approval Wednesday for a junkyard that will be placed in the back of his yard.

During a public hearing before the Board of Selectmen, Chairman Mark Cyr said a new junkyard site chosen by Chamberlain was “acceptable and screened.”

Despite the protests of some residents, including two who had written letters, Cyr said the board had no right to deny Chamberlain’s application.

“To clarify on the junkyard, the state is pretty clear, you can’t discriminate as selectmen,” Cyr said. “If they meet the junkyard requirements, we have to approve the license.”

The selectmen voted 2-0 to approve the permit, with Selectman Leonard Adler abstaining.

Chamberlain was not present for the hearing.

At a previous meeting, he reportedly vowed to forgo the permitting process and remove junk that has been deposited in his yard in protest of the town’s lax junkyard enforcement.

The junkyard approved Wednesday does not include this cluttered spot, which has caused controversy and angered some of Chamberlain’s neighbors. However, Cyr said Chamberlain will have to begin removing the unpermitted junk pile within 90 days.

Chamberlain’s neighbor Wayne Sturdivant asked how the town would enforce this policy.

Cyr said the town has the right “to go in and clean up lots.”

If that should happen, Selectman Tom Nurmi said, Chamberlain would be charged on his tax bill for any cleanup costs.

If they meet the junkyard requirements, we have to approve the license.
Mark Cyr, chairman, Otisfield Board of Selectmen