GREENE — Residents voted overwhelmingly Friday to stick with a two-year-old ordinance aimed at keeping local flea markets neat and manageable.

Voting whether to repeal the ordinance, 142 Greene residents voted “no” while just 25 voted in favor of the repeal.

Town officials say the ordinance holds flea markets to many of the same rules as other businesses regarding such issues as signs, safe exits and parking.

The repeal effort was led by George Stanley, who owns and operates a business at 1316 Route 202. Some have complained that his yard is an eyesore. In January, he defended his business.

“It’s more than just the junk man on the side of the road in Greene, Maine,” Stanley told a Sun Journal reporter. “It’s an unfinished project, like the Sistine Chapel that took seven years. Give me seven years and see where we are.”

Stanley twice applied for a license and was twice denied.

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Greene Town Manager Charles Noonan said the reason for the denial was the number and size of signs.

Stanley filed suit against the town, accusing the town of “a sicko plot to destroy me utterly as I am a stain on their ‘pristine’ town.”

He said the town’s refusal to license him has cost him “incomes, loss of business, distress, suffering, pain and aggravation.”

Stanley has asked for a jury trial and a waiver of court fees. The suit is awaiting a decision by a judge.

Most of Greene’s three-page ordinance on flea markets copies the language used to govern all town businesses, Noonan has said. It includes the issue of signs, which limits flea markets to no more than two signs with a total area of six square feet.

“That applies to all businesses in town,” Noonan said at the start of the year, “not just to flea markets.”


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