Opponents of the hotel, the citizens group “Save Kennard Street,” say that the hotel will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood. Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

BRIDGTON — The Planning Board is set to discuss the remand order from the Cumberland County Superior Court regarding Hotel Bridgton next Tuesday.

The board discussed how the proceedings will go forward at an Oct. 6 meeting, but no decisions regarding actual content of the remand order were made.

Hotel Bridgton’s application was returned to the board’s docket via the Appeals Board following a decision by Justice Thomas R. McKeon in August. He ordered the board to reexamine the issue of “fill” as it relates to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

The citizens’ group, Save Kennard Street, which is represented by attorney David Lourie of Cape Elizabeth, has been fighting the hotel since it was first introduced in February of 2018.

Board members Daniel Harden and Mike Figoli recused themselves from future proceedings.

Harden previously served as the president of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. He said that under his leadership, the chamber wrote a letter to the town in support of bringing a hotel to Bridgton, but did not name any specific property or developer.

Figoli, who is an alternate, recused himself because he said he is not familiar with the material and could not adequately familiarize himself before the next meeting.

In Kennard Street’s appeals against Hotel Bridgton, Lourie alleged bias by some members of the Planning Board in favor of the hotel.

“We’re in the middle of a very complicated and lengthy procedure and I would not like any due process violations to essentially undermine these proceedings. Allegations of bias are taken very seriously by the court and if there is evidence of bias, it often results in an invalidation of the full Planning Board decision, meaning we would be back to square one,” said town attorney Aga Dixon at the Oct. 6 meeting.

Dixon added that Lourie has not provided any evidence detailing the alleged bias.

Greg Watkins considered recusing himself as a member of the Selectboard that approved the sale of the land in question, but after some discussion, he ultimately decided not to do so because he was acting as a member of a board, and not as an individual.

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