BRIDGTON — The Board of Appeals has affirmed the Planning Board’s November decision that Hotel Bridgton’s site plan meets a town ordinance earlier this month.

The citizens’ group, Save Kennard Street, has been fighting the proposed project on the at Saunders Mills site and two adjacent lots on Bacon and Kennard streets since Justin McIver of Maine Eco Homes first introduced it in February 2018. The group claims it will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood.

The proposal has bounced between the Planning Board and a Appeals Board ever since and eventually went before Superior Court Justice Thomas R. McKeon in December 2019.

McKeon sent the project back to the Planning Board in an Aug. 4 decision on the single issue of “filling” or “earthmoving,” which is strictly prohibited in the Stream Protection Zone where the lot for the proposed hotel is located. In his decision, McKeon said the Planning Board did not adequately address that issue even though Kennard Street specifically objected to it.

The Planning Board voted unanimously Nov. 3 that McIver’s proposal did not violate the terms of the Shoreland Protection Ordinance, which Cape Elizabeth attorney David Lourie, representing Kennard Street, appealed soon thereafter.

On Jan. 7, the Appeals Board voted to accept the Planning Board’s decision 4-1, with John Schuettinger, Mark Harmon, Bruce Hancock and Kevin Raday voting in favor and Dick Danis voting against. The decision was formally accepted Jan. 14.

Earlier this week, Lourie said the abutters plan to continue fighting the hotel until it reaches the highest court in the state.

“If we were truly a government of laws and not men, this thing would have never gotten has far as it did,” Lourie said Tuesday. “But the Planning Board is supportive of this project.”

“I feel strongly on this case and I’m not going away,” Lourie said, adding that if the town or McIver is “counting on me or my clients giving up, that’s not going to happen.”

Many of these cases end when the opponents run out of money, but Lourie said he is “working on an expectation of payment someday.”

He said he is owed tens of thousands of dollars but declined to give a specific amount.

The town has spent $25,188 in legal costs for Hotel Bridgton to date, according to the Code Enforcement office’s administrative assistant, Erin O’Connor.

McIver did not return a request for comment.

Lourie has 45 days to file an appeal with the Superior Court but said he plans to file before then.

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