GREENWOOD – The Greenwood Board of Appeals voted Monday to sign a findings of fact that suggests Jonathon Wells of Old Orchard Beach is running an illegal lodging business.

According to the board, Wells made changes to his property on Round Pond that turned its use from a residential building to a commercial property, but did not obtain the necessary permits.

Wells was issued permits by the Planning Board for various changes to his land, including the addition of a railroad caboose, as far back as 1994. However, the Board of Appeals believes he has gone beyond the original intent of the permits and may even be violating certain Shoreland Zoning Ordinances.

It submitted its findings of fact to the Planning Board, which will, in turn, make a decision regarding the legality of Wells’ actions.

Wells, however, thinks the Planning Board is mistaken.

“We’re sorry it came out this way,” Wells said of the decisions, “and we’ll ask the board to reconsider.” Wells also said legal action might be necessary.

“We plan to take it to court,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate it came to this.”

According to the Web site www.vacationrentals.com, Wells is listed as the owner/manager of Round Pond Station, a “villa” with 8 bedrooms that sleeps 25, plus a railroad caboose with bedrooms and bath that sleeps another five in the summer.

The villa features four bathrooms, a living room, fireplace room, dining room, fully stocked kitchen, billiard parlor, fully equipped rec room, loft, screened porch, Jacuzzi, outdoor hot tub and satellite TV. Outside are two docks, three canoes, a fire pit and more than 300 feet of frontage on the pond, which lies next to Route 26 in Locke Mills village.

Rental prices range from $4,600 a week in the summer to $600 for a two-night minimum midweek in the winter, according to the Web site.

Wells said the permits he obtained were adhered to, and allow the changes he has made.

“The Code Enforcement Officer was right there throughout,” he said, referring to the changes made to the property. “Ninety percent of the work we did was right when we bought it.”

The board also listed conclusions of law, which state 20 reasons why the Planning Board should reverse its approval of the permits and issues the Board of Appeals found with the Planning Board’s process.

The Board of Appeals also offered the opinion that the growth of the property might cause dangers to public health, which had not been present before, such as erosion and pollution resulting from alleged snowmobile and ATV activity.

The findings of fact and conclusions of law must now be sent to the Planning Board, which will decide whether or not to revoke the permits it originally issued.


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