Oxford Planning Board decisions appealed as ‘improper’

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DECISION — Greg Hamann, back, and Tom Hamann, front, of HBC LLC requested on  Aug. 10 that a decision be made by the Planning Board on their site plan review application. The application was denied based on the lack of an available grow permits to issue. HBC LLC is now appealing the decision.

OXFORD — HBC LLC has appealed the Planning Board’s Aug. 10 issuance of the town’s third and final marijuana grow permit and denial of its own site plan review application for marijuana operations at 7 Oxford Homes Lane.

In the Thursday, Aug. 31 appeal, HBC LLC has asked the Oxford Appeals Board to review the Planning Board’s approval of Stevenson Enterprises Inc.’s site plan application and issuance of a medical marijuana cultivation permit at 517 Main St., saying the Planning Board’s approval was “improper” and “harmed” HBC LLC.

TENANTS READY — Ricky Beaudet, owner of Actnow GC Inc. at 517 Main St., told the Planning Board at its Aug. 17 meeting that his tenants were ready and waiting to move into one of the buildings that they hope to grow marijuana in.

It has further asked in a second appeal, also dated Aug. 31, that the Appeals Board review the Planning Board’s denial of HBC’s site plan review application for one of five buildings, anchored by MGA Cast Stone, that has been used until recently as a gym and is now under renovations.

The Appeals Board is set to meet on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

According to appeal documents filed by HBC LLC, it is proposing to lease a portion of a building it owns at 7 Oxford Homes Lane to individual medical marijuana caregivers and recreational marijuana growers, providing those tenants operate within applicable Maine law.

The unanimous Planning Board denial on Aug. 10 of HBC LLC’s site plan review application was based purely on the unavailability of a medical marijuana grow permit following the board’s 3-2 decision to award Stevenson Enterprises the town’s third and final permit.

Greg Hamann, manager of HBC LLC, asked the Planning Board on Aug. 10 to act on his application to give him “standing” in an appeals case.

The hotly debated, 90-minute discussion that resulted in awarding of the permit to  Stevenson Enterprises Inc. revolved around whether the Planning Board had previously awarded the permit with contingencies or had simply reviewed the application and tabled it.

Planning Board Chairman Stuart Davis and member Dennis Fournier, who have both since resigned from the board, voted against the issuance of the permit. Members Denise Landsberg, Dana Dillingham and Gerald Nicklaus – Nicklaus has also resigned from the board – agreed the permit had been awarded to Stevenson Enterprises at a previous meeting with one contingency concerning security measures. That contingency has been met, according to Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman.

The narrowly approved decision paved the way for Actnow GC Inc. President Ricky Beaudet, who is leasing the property for his plumbing business from Brent Stevenson of Stevenson Enterprises Inc., to purchase the property at 517-519 Main St. and sublet the larger of the three buildings to Americo and Deanna Varallo, who will cultivate medical marijuana in the building.

HBC LLC appeal

HBC LLC is appealing the Planning Board’s denial of its site plan application based on several issues, including its belief that the town’s Zoning Ordinance that regulates medical marijuana grow sites and dispensaries does not apply to the proposed operation.

HBC LLC also contends that the permit should not have been granted to Stevenson Enterprises Inc., in part, because its application did not meet the required setback requirements and therefore leaves a permit available.

Stevenson Enterprises Inc. argued during its application process, that the Planning Board had set a precedent by issuing a medical marijuana grow permit for former Burlington Homes owner George Schott of Nobility LLC that appeared to be nonconforming with setback requirements.

HBC LLC also argues that the town’s Zoning Ordinance that governs site plans reviews for medical marijuana registered dispensary and medical marijuana cultivation facilities is “vague” and “unenforceable.” It is unclear, HBC LLC argues, whether the ordinance limits both types of facilities to a total of three or allows three permits for each of the two categories.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net