During the past few meetings of the Gorham Board of Appeals there has been a noticeable growing element on the Board to find expanding reasons to keep citizens from using their property in a reasonable manner. Rather than trying to find ways to help citizens enjoy their home and property, the Board seems to only hear with an ear toward reasons that the request cannot be granted.

There were two recent examples.

A) Eric and Veronica Bretton had a motion for reconsideration regarding a cottage on the Presumpscot River. The issue was complicated but there was a solution acceptable to the DEP. After all was said and done, it was clear that the applicant was given no direction or guidance as to what to do next, and the board simply tabled the item.

B) Stanley Foss was requesting a variance. His garage had collapsed this past winter, and he wanted to build an expanded garage. He has a blind mother who may require care in the near future and a slightly expanded garage could house a third bedroom. The chair suggested an alternative, and I moved to accept. The Chair had to second the motion. Motion was defeated. What can a citizen do when the Board of Appeals says you can’t have a bedroom to take care of your blind parent, or to expand their family?

Following the second raw treatment of a Gorham citizen and taxpayer, I notified the chair that I was leaving the Meeting and planned to write a letter of complaint to the Town Council regarding the mind set of the Board of Appeals.

David McCullough


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