THE PILINGS at Popham Beach in Phippsburg.

THE PILINGS at Popham Beach in Phippsburg.

PHIPPSBURG

In a letter sent to the Phippsburg selectmen last week, Jack and Susan Parker stated that they will voluntarily delay the controversial removal of the pilings at Popham Beach.

“(W)e appreciate the substantial interest this project has generated and the challenges the level of public interest presents to the town, so we are willing to delay the project,” said the Parkers in the letter.

After a months-long process that began in September of last year, the Parkers were granted a permit in June to remove the pilings — the only remains of a once popular pier. The Parkers own a home at Popham Beach, and the pilings sit near them in state waters. Jack Parker has stated that his motivation to remove the pilings is concern that they cause erosion.

According to the letter, the Parkers will hold off acting on their permit until the Board of Environmental Protection has a chance to hear an appeal from the town or the end of the year — whichever comes first. The permit states that the pilings can only be removed between Oct. 15 and April 15, meaning that the permit holders have limited time in which to act.

When Jack Parker spoke with The Times Record in September, he said he had not come to a decision on whether to delay removal of the pilings.

The Board of Environmental Protection is expected to meet Dec. 7 to consider the appeal filed by the town of Phippsburg in July. The town challenged the Parkers’ title to remove the pilings and suggests that there could be environmental damage when the pilings are removed, among other issues. The Parkers have contested these claims in a response filed by their lawyer.

At the December meeting, both sides will present oral arguments and it is likely that the board will make a decision on the appeal then, said executive analyst Cynthia Bertocci of the Board of Environmental Protection.

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