Septic business files appeal

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A lawyer representing the owner of Royal Flush Septic has filed an appeal of a Dec. 18 Board of Appeals ruling directing the town code enforcement officer to issue a cease and desist notice to the business regarding the transfer of waste from one vehicle to another on the property.

The appeal contends that the board did not have jurisdiction over the matter.

In a letter to the Board of Appeals submitted on Dec. 23, lawyer Daniel A Pileggi, who represents Royal Flush owner James “Jimmy” Norwood, wrote “Mr. Norwood asserts that the Board incorrectly interpreted its jurisdictional authority, applied incorrect legal standards, failed to hold the appellant to the proper burden of proof, and issued findings and a decision incompatible with its authority.”

At the meeting on Dec. 18, Marshall Brook Road resident Mike Levesque went before the Board of Appeals after filing an administrative appeal. He had previously gone to the Planning Board, town manager and Select Board to discuss issues with changes made to a neighboring property owned by Norwood. Levesque said the changes, including Norwood’s purchase and use of an adjacent property and the removal of trees that had formed a natural buffer, increased the intensity of smells wafting onto Levesque’s land and robbed him of the enjoyment of the property.

Levesque questioned whether Norwood had applied for the proper permits for what he contends is an expansion or change of use of the Royal Flush Septic business. Ultimately, the Board of Appeals determined that Levesque was appealing a lack of action on the part of the code enforcement officer.

“Mr. Levesque’s application was not an appeal of any code enforcement or Planning Board action,” wrote Pileggi in the subsequent appeal “and the Board of Appeals had no jurisdiction over the matter.”

At the end of the Dec. 18 meeting, the board directed Southwest Harbor Code Enforcement Officer John Larson to serve Norwood with a cease and desist notice halting the transfer of larger volumes of waste on the second lot. Members of the board determined the transfer of sewage from smaller hauling trucks into a new larger, three-axle truck constituted a change of use requiring proper permitting to continue.

Norwood told the Islander that transfers of sewage from truck to truck had been part of the business that has been operating for nearly two decades at the same location.

Larson and Deputy Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Dunbar were at the Dec. 18 Board of Appeals meeting. Norwood did not attend that meeting. In a conversation with the Islander, he said he had been notified of the meeting as an abutter to Levesque’s property.

A Board of Appeals meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22 to hear the appeal from Norwood.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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