Eaton Peabody is on the Cutting Edge of Municipal Law

When she feared that the expansion of a nearby hotel would negatively impact the value and the quality of her Camden neighborhood, Susan Bryant turned to Eaton Peabody litigator Ryan Dumais for help in pursuing her appeal of a special exception permit granted to the hotel.

Although additional permits would be required before the expansion project would be shovel ready, The Town of Camden’s ordinance required Bryant to appeal the granting of the special exception permit or to lose her right to challenge it. On Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in the case. The Court announced a new rule in the realm of municipal law clarifying that town ordinances could not require abutting property owners to appeal a Town’s permitting decisions until a final municipal action had occurred. The ruling also clarified that before the project could go forward the planning board would have to perform a complete site plan review including making a determination that the project complied with applicable space and bulk standards.

Finally, the decision confirms that Bryant maintains all rights to bring challenges at the end of the process, should it be necessary to do so.