The town of Tremont is filing a complaint in district court against the owners of this property at 45 Harbor Drive regarding code violations. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SARAH HINCKLEY

Town files against Cousinses

TREMONT — Following a lack of response to the town’s request to clean up their lot, an 80K has been filed in Hancock County District Court against Robert and Judy Cousins regarding several code violations on their property.

Following a discussion in executive session Dec. 3, selectmen unanimously voted to authorize Town Manager Chris Saunders to file a Rule 80K action in district court. Under the rule, the court can order violators to pay fines and to stop or correct a violation.

A notice of violation and order to correct violations of Title 30-A Junkyard was issued to the Cousinses on Sept. 27. Nearly a month later, the town offered the property owners a consent agreement per their request, in which several of the deadlines for the multiple violations listed were extended. According to Saunders, that consent agreement was never signed by the Cousinses.

At the end of 2013, a restaurant owned and operated by the Cousinses, Cap’n Nemos, which was located on the same lot at 45 Harbor Drive in Tremont, burned to the ground. The following year, the couple filed a lawsuit against the town claiming the firefighters were negligent in their duties of fighting the fire and saving the building.

The Cousins also applied for a permit in 2014 to construct a two-story building with a restaurant on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. When the town drafted the consent agreement this fall, it included a requirement that the Cousins complete the first floor of the restaurant by Dec. 30, 2019.

Code Enforcement Officer John Larson cited at least four times since June 2017 that he went by the property and noticed code violations.

Larson finally decided to serve the owners with a notice of violation. In it, he asked for removal of all unregistered and uninspected vehicles, removal and proper disposal of all worn-out and discarded items, as well as an after-the-fact permit for residing in an unpermitted camper by Oct. 30.

According to Larson, Judy Cousins came to the town office and applied for a permit for residing in the camper after the violation notice was issued. That permit addressed one of the violations listed.

There has not been any other action to address the violations, so the town decided to hand authoritative action over to the court.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

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