Camp Owners Fined for Tree Cutting

ELLSWORTH — A district court judge has ordered the owners of a property on Phillips Lake in the Dedham village of Lucerne-in-Maine to pay a $4,500 fine and replant trees for violating shoreland zoning regulations.

Rory and Amy Connor were notified in a May 2011 letter from attorney David Szewczyk that they had violated the town’s land use ordinance by cutting nine mature trees within the resource protection zone, which comprises the area within 75 feet of the lake. The trees that were removed, court records show, were within 30 feet of the shore.

The couple contested that allegation, arguing the trees were either dead or diseased and removed because they constituted a safety hazard.

Photographs of the cut trees taken by the town’s code enforcement officer dispute that claim. Even if this were the case, Szewczyk pointed out the couple failed to obtain the proper permit to remove the trees.

The civil matter was heard in Ellsworth District Court at hearings on May 21, July 19 and Aug. 21 of this year.

In his Sept. 19 decision, Justice Bruce Mallonee ordered the couple to pay a penalty of $4,500, replant the trees and submit a reforestation plan that includes a five-year management plan for the replanting.

The couple also were ordered to pay legal fees incurred by Lucerne-in-Maine. According to court records, the fees and costs total almost $14,800.

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Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander