To the Editor:
By all accounts, the Ogunquit Planning Board chair and vice-chair led the board to an all-time low at this past Monday evening’s regular meeting. Not only did they permit politics to invade the proceedings, but they doled out retribution to a small business owner, not deemed to be one of their preferred applicants. The board spent more time seeking petty reasons to delay construction of a hot tub than it spent protecting the public’s interest at an earlier meeting which entailed the creation of an entire new development zone with far-reaching effects on the community.
At Monday’s meeting, a minor matter before the board for the third time was held up because the applicant’s plan to simply add a small outdoor hot tub did not specifically identify which of 11 existing parking spaces would be designated handicapped. The board could have easily agreed with the applicant, as a condition of approval, to designate a specific, appropriate space as handicapped to be verified by the code enforcement officer, after which updated plans could be submitted accordingly. But because this applicant was not on the board’s preferred applicants list, the project was administratively delayed. Shame on you Planning Board. Shame on you.
It has become painfully obvious that this Planning Board, as currently comprised, is unable to separate its personal or political bias from its legal duty to fairly and evenly evaluate all projects coming before it. Decisions are made according to who they prefer, not the factual circumstances of the project as is their legal obligation. Minor corrections to plans are permitted in some cases, yet others are held to the strictest letter of the zoning ordinances.
This board’s leadership should either apply the zoning ordinances with an even hand or submit their resignations.