by Mary Grow
Acting on the town attorney’s advice, the Vassalboro Board of Appeals refused on procedural grounds to hear Jonathan Blumberg’s appeal of a permit granted to Bernard Welch for his South Stanley Hill Road property.
Codes Enforcement Officer Richard Dolby had granted Welch building and plumbing permits needed for a food-processing and storage building on the site of a burned-down chicken house on the property. Blumberg filed an appeal of the decision with the codes officer, but he did not supply the “appropriate appeal fee” of $100 required by the town ordinance, instead, he said, putting the money in an escrow account. Vassalboro’s ordinance does not allow for an escrow account, acting Board of Appeals Chairman John Reuthe said. Town Attorney Alton Stevens advised the board to find that without the fee, the appeal was not filed in the timely manner required by the ordinance, and to refuse to address the merits of the appeal.
The four board members present at its Oct. 27 meeting unanimously did so. Reuthe cut off Blumberg’s protests by adjourning the meeting.