Illegal signs draw attention



BAR HARBOR — The town’s attorney is set to file an enforcement action in court against two Cottage Street businesses for alleged code violations for signs and other changes that did not have approval or permits.

The Town Council voted unanimously last week to authorize the legal action against Bobby Lynn Hutchins, doing business as Blue Door Restaurant, and RDR Realty, owners of the building at 69 Cottage St. where the new Olive Park Café is housed.

Code Enforcement Officer Angela Chamberlain sent several notices of violation to Hutchins beginning May 18, she said in a memo to councilors, “for installation of signage which had not received approval by the Design Review Board or a building permit, and the change in paint colors to the exterior of the building without Design Review Board (DRB) approval.”

The notices were sent certified mail, Chamberlain said. “No one has contacted me to discuss the violation, and no action has been taken … to remedy this violation.”

The Olive Park Café opened earlier this summer in the part of the 69 Cottage St. building that used to be the Cottage Street Baking Company restaurant. Chamberlain sent a notice of violation to RDR Realty June 21, she said, for installation of signage and a fence without DRB approval or a permit.

That notice was sent certified mail, she said, and was returned to her office marked “refused.”

“I’m very concerned with people playing the system on these,” Councilor Matt Hochman said. “People really need to address them immediately.”

The enforcement actions would seek “civil penalties, an injunction ordering the defendants to correct or abate the violations and reimbursement of the town’s attorney fees, expert witnesses and costs,” according to Chamberlain’s memo. Possible defendants include the property owners or their agents.

“If applications [for permits and DRB] came in, we’d go no further,” council Chair Paul Paradis said.

“The town attorney is working on the complaint, but nothing has been filed yet,” Chamberlain told the Islander Monday. “RDR has filed an application for Design Review Board.”

 

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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