Bowdoinham selectmen denied an automobile recycling business license Tuesday to a resident seeking to build a storage lot for vehicles after finding the project didn’t meet all of the requirements of the license under state law.

William Panzino was proposing the car lot at 791 Carding Machine Road, where he would to remove and resell car parts. Up to 10 vehicles would be stored temporarily there.

Under state law, the town and state are required to issue permits for an auto recycling business. Selectmen found that the project wasn’t at least 300 feet from any wells and wasn’t at least 500 feet from a cemetery. The project is also 12 feet from a property line instead of 20 feet as required, Town Manager Nicole Briand told Panzino. Selectmen denied the license, 4-0.

Panzino said he could have easily addressed the setback requirement if he’d known it was a problem. He also argued that the cemetery is a private burial site that doesn’t meet the definition of a cemetery.

Panzino said he submitted changes to his application to meet requirements, noting he’d decided not to dismantle vehicles at his business. Selectman chairperson David Engler said the board was voting on the original application the town received, however.

“I will be back with another application,” Panzino said.

Selectman Peter Lewis criticized the town for the way it has handled Panzino’s application. He argued that Panzino has received little assistance from the town or selectmen. Lewis said Panzino made changes to his application to meet the state requirements and said he would only vote on the updated application Tuesday.

“This gentleman has been struggling to get his business running in this town for well over a year,” said Lewis, who abstained from voting.


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