Hotelier’s appeal dismissed

PORTLAND — The state’s highest court has dismissed an appeal by the Witham Family Limited Partnership regarding a Bar Harbor board of appeals decision that cleared the way for construction of developer Tom Walsh’s West Street Hotel.

In a Feb. 5 decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court determined that Witham’s appeal was moot because the company did not appeal the approval of site plans by the town’s planning board that led to the construction and opening of the hotel in 2012.

Witham initially filed a complaint in Hancock County Superior Court, challenging decisions made by the appeals board on May 3 and May 24, 2010. The Superior Court dismissed the complaint on the grounds that Witham had no standing, according to the decision.

Witham subsequently appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court. That court determined that as an abutter, Witham had standing and vacated the decision, remanding the matter to the Superior Court in November.

The case languished in Superior Court, and in October 2013, was transferred to the Supreme Judicial Court’s business and consumer docket. A judgement was entered in January 2014 which affirmed the planning board’s determination that the hotel was not in violation of the town’s requirements regarding height, and that it complied with parking requirements. Witham then appealed that to the Supreme Judicial Court.

In the decision, Justice C. J. Saufley noted that, the case is moot because “the appeal does not present an issue of great public concern,” and the controversy on appeal no longer exists.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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