Posted by: Patricia Salkin | March 2, 2015

ME Supreme Court Dismisses Site Plan Appeal to Construct Hotel as Moot

The Witham Family Limited Partnership appeals from a judgment entered in the Business and Consumer Docket affirming two May 2010 decisions of the Bar Harbor Appeals Board that required the Bar Harbor Planning Board to approve a site plan for construction of a hotel on land abutting Witham’s land in Bar Harbor. Witham did not, however, appeal from a May 2010 decision of the Planning Board, on remand from the Appeals Board, which contained new findings and resulted in site plan approval, or from the Planning Board’s May 2012 approval of an amended site plan.

Witham’s appeal was found to be moot because a ruling on the superseded decision would not produce “sufficient practical effects … to justify the application of limited judicial resources.” Even if the Planning Board had correctly initially denied the application for site plan approval on March 17, 2010, the Planning Board’s May 19, 2010, decision approving the site plan contained a new finding and imposed specific conditions. That approval remains in effect, as does the Planning Board’s later approval of the amended site plan in May 2012. Although there are exceptions to the mootness doctrine, none of them applied here because the collateral consequences that would flow from the decision are not more than conjectural and insubstantial consequences. Accordingly, because the controversy on appeal was moot and no exception to the mootness doctrine applied, the court dismissed the appeal.

Witham Family Limited Partnership v Town of Bar Harbor, 2015 WL 474518 (ME 2/5/2015)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.courts.maine.gov/opinions_orders/supreme/lawcourt/2015/15me12wi.pdf


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