2017-09-01 / Community

Arundel orders removal of trucks from property

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — Based largely on the stated fear that allowing one business to violate a consent decree created to clear up property use violations will only encourage others to do the same, Arundel selectmen on Monday ordered William Stilphen to remove most of the contracting vehicles now stored on his 5-acre property at 31 Stilphen Way.

On June 12, selectmen signed two consent agreements with Stilphen after some neighbors complained he was violating a conditional use permit granted in 2003 for his road contracting business Pave-Tek, by storing more heavy equipment on site than allowed in the conditional use permit for operating within the town’s rural conservation zoning district.

The neighbors also complained that Stilphen had stored a tanker on site for a fuel delivery business, without environmental hazard plans, although he claims that truck has not been on site for more than two years.

The neighbors also noted that Stilphen was running a medical marijuana cultivation facility not allowed in the rural conservation zone.

As a result of the consent agreements, the marijuana operation has now been moved off site, Stilphen said, but he has had less luck complying with the consent agreement for his contracting business.

The agreement gave Stilphen 60 days to obtain from the town a Contractor Yard 2 permit from the town. That deadline expired Aug. 13, but to date Stilphen has only made one preliminary appearance before the planning board.

Stilphen said Monday that 60-days was not really appropriate for a drop dead date, saying he had trouble securing an engineer and getting his plan together for the permit application.

Jason Vadfiades, of Atlantic Resource Consultants confirmed that at Monday’s meeting, saying he had gone through five surveyors trying to find one to subcontract that portion of the job.

“In this economic climate, it’s not always easy to fund someone on the spot,” he said.

Some on the board, such as Dan Dubois, sympathized with that, and said they were inclined to allow time for the process to work itself out, given that Stilphen did meet the first deadline in making his initial application to the planning board.

However, the neighbors, who complained Stilphen has violated or ignored town permits and ordinances on his lot going back 17 years, pressed the board to stick to the June 13 agreement.

“Mr. Stilphen’s actions (or lack thereof) speak much louder than his words. So far, he has delivered nothing but empty promises, and it is time for his feet to be held to the fire,” wrote Bruce Read, the attorney for the neighbors, in an Aug. 18 letter to the town.

“We have spent a lot of money on an attorney and it doesn’t seem right that we should have to do that to get the town to enforce its own ordinances,” said on of the neighbors, Lynn Howe. “By not enforcing the consent agreement, the town is allowing him to operated a contractor 2 yard, which is not allowed in our zone.”

Other neighbors, including Stacy Dewey Gile, of Macchipkay Road, brought up other consent agreements the town currently has in place to try and clear up code and permit violation. That seemed to resonate with selectmen.

“The problem is, if we allow him to operate past the agreement, what are this other people going to think,” board chairman Thomas Danylik said.

“We’d have to just throw our hands up on all three,” Selectman Jason Nedeau said.

Selectmen voted to have code enforcement officer Jim Nagle inspect the Stilphen property and, until the new permit is approved, hold him to the 2003 permit.

That allows Stilphen to park no more than two dump trucks and two trailers on his property. The rest, they said, including any additional vehicles, a big rig trailer that Stilphen uses to store most of his work equipment, and even storage trailers with his personal effects, will have to be moved to some other location.

Stilphen said he owns three other lots on Sinnot Road. However, he hated to move his equipment there, he said, because those are roadside fields.

“Right now, nobody can see my stuff, not even my neighbors, really. I’m way back in the woods,” he said. “But to have all of that stuff out beside the road, is that really what you want? Especially when everyone in the town office, all along as I’ve been chasing after this, has said, ‘Bill, don’t worry about it, you’re working on it.’ I hate to say it, but thats stuff’s going to be a real eyesore where you want it to go.”

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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