Rustic rentals lack permits

TREMONT — The town’s code enforcement officer has issued a stop work order to the owners of Seal Cove property who were advertising overnight accommodations in violation of the zoning ordinance.

Code enforcement officer John Larson issued the order to the premises known as Howling Woods on April 18. Howling Woods is owned by Brendan O’Keefe and Jarly Bobadilla. The address, according to the compound’s Facebook page, is 48 Backfield Road.

According to Larson, the problem is that O’Keefe and Bobadilla failed to get Planning Board approval before proceeding to offer short-term rentals of small buildings on the property.

“They were advertising on Airbnb,” Larson said. “That’s how I found out about it – somebody saw it on Facebook.”

Larson said there are two yurts and two 8-by-12-foot buildings on the property. A building permit for one yurt and one of the other buildings was issued by a former code enforcement officer, but no permits were issued for the other buildings, which in itself is a violation.

None of the structures have indoor plumbing or any gray water disposal systems, according to town officials. “Come stay among moss covered spruce woods in our village of tiny homes and misfit animals, a short walk from the ocean, lakes and mountains of Acadia,” reads a statement on the Howling Woods Facebook page. It also encourages people to consider renting “Our native-american inspired wigwam!”

In response to the stop work order, O’Keefe and Bobadilla have filled out an after-the-fact application for consideration by the Planning Board. No date has been set for that meeting. If the board doesn’t give their approval, the two unpermitted buildings would have to be removed.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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