BRUNSWICK

The Brunswick Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to work with Robert and Nancy King along with engineer input on the Kings’ shoreline project at Miller Point.

The council was prepared to take up a request by Councilor Steve Walker — tabled at their last meeting — to direct the planning department to require a special use permit review of the Miller Point revetment project.

After talks between Town Attorney Stephen Langsdorf and the Kings’ attorney outlining cooperation between the Kings and the town, Walker rescinded the request. Instead, he moved the council vote on a new motion allowing the Kings to move forward working in cooperation with the town.

The Kings planned to build four homes for their family on a 228 acre parcel while putting another 187 acres in a conservation easement.

Nancy King grew up in Brunswick where the family continued to visit and vacation over the years.

The plan was to build one home for the couple and three additional homes for their children.

The project, which had been reviewed and approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Protection as well as town officials, ground to a halt over some 625 feet of shoreline to be reinforced with rip-rap.

The process involves removing soil and placing boulders and other rock to stabilize the shoreline before replacing the soil, grading and re-vegitating the area.

According to Robert King, the work was halted Feb. 22 when neighboring property owners Richard Knox and Henry Heyburn hired a Portland lawyer from Verrill Dana and asked for a stop-work order citing lack of town oversight and absence of an engineer in charge of the project.

The order was never issued as the Kings voluntarily paused the work to cooperate with the town on how to best proceed.

“This has been a very challenging and sensitive matter for all of us,” King told the council.

King said he told Town Manager John Eldridge he had no idea the process would unfold as it has but that he deeply appreciated the town’s consideration and due diligence throughout.

Knox addressed the council, saying he’s impressed with the Kings and the town for seeking out an independent review of the project as it moves forward.

“Despite past mistakes, it is refreshing to see the town move forward responsibly in a way that will ultimately help the Kings meet their goals while at the same time upholding the integrity and transparency in complying with due process and laws,” Knox said.

Councilor John Perreault commended the Kings, citing that much has been said on the council floor without their interests being represented as well.

Councilor Steve Walker thanked the Kings as well — clarifying that the goal was never to shut down the Kings’ project but to find a way for them to move forward in a way that best suited their needs and protected Brunswick’s coastal legacy.

Councilor Dave Watson praised the Kings for “saving Miller’s Point” by seeing the need to reinforce the bluff. He said they came to the town and tried to do the right thing in a “forthcoming, upfront and honest” way.

“I think it’s important to know that this is the type of people we want in Brunswick,” Watson said.

Following the vote, King said he was surprised by the overwhelming support from the council and that he and his wife are looking forward to retiring in Brunswick and being part of the community.

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