The property at 28 Whitetail Lane, right, and 18 Fernwood Road, left, on Sebago Lake in Raymond are seen Aug. 24, 2022, after renovations to the two properties were completed. The properties are at the center of a series of shoreland zoning violations involving Auburn businessman Donald Buteau. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file

RAYMOND — It’s been two years since Auburn businessman Donald Buteau and his real estate holding company Management Controls, were cited for 15 violations of Maine’s shoreland zoning ordinance and for unpermitted work. The case has been tied up in appeals and two separate cases in Cumberland County ever since.

The impasse prompted state Sen. Tim Nangle to put forth two bills to help resolve this and future cases, including giving municipalities, such as Raymond, the authority to deny building and other permits if there are any unresolved shoreland zone violations.

In late October 2021, the shoreland in front of two homes owned by Buteau at 18 Fernwood Road and 28 Whitetail Lane was transformed in two weeks from its natural landscape of towering trees, native vegetation and rocky shore to an open landscape of at least 400 linear feet of riprap — rock — lining the shore.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection also cited Buteau and contractor Robert Durant for violations of Maine’s Natural Resources Protection Act.

Durant, the primary contractor for the work at both houses, and his companies Big Lake Marine and Durant Excavating, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection Nov. 30, 2022.

The town of Raymond has revealed that attorney’s fees for the town have been steadily mounting and are between $300,000 and $400,000.


At a community meeting in September, the town also revealed that despite having unresolved shoreland zoning violations, Buteau applied for and was granted a permit for $1.5 million in renovations to the property on Whitetail Lane.

Under Maine law, the town could not deny the permit.

The permit description reads “complete renovation of existing dwelling to include new roof structure.” The permit was submitted Aug. 7.

The shorefront property at 18 Fernwood Road in Raymond is one of two at the center of a shoreland zoning ordinance violations case and subsequent legal fight between the town and owner Donald Buteau that is entering its third year. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal File

Nangle, D-Cumberland, put two solutions before the Maine Legislature after local residents and Raymond officials appealed to local lawmakers for help. One proposal would have established a revolving loan fund to enable municipalities to borrow funds to pay attorney fees until a zoning case is adjudicated.

That proposal was not approved by the Legislative Council and an appeal of that decision Thursday was also unsuccessful.

Nangle said Thursday that he remained undaunted and was working on an alternative legislative plan, but that he was not prepared to discuss those details at this point.


The second proposal from Nangle would give municipalities the authority to deny permits for properties that have unresolved shoreland zoning violations, even if the original owner sells the property.

“This case brought to light a serious flaw in state law,” Nangle said, referring to the Buteau case. He said that under Maine law municipalities must enforce the laws, yet they have zero input. He said upholding the existing standards of protecting the environment and drinking water supply are important, but that the municipalities have no choice — they must enforce the laws but are given no tools to enforce the resolution.

An excavator works in October 2021 at a property owned by Management Controls and Donald Buteau on Sebago Lake in Raymond. Town of Raymond photo

Buteau has denied there were any violations on his properties, but legal paperwork filed on his behalf has stated if there were any, they “resulted from errors and/or oversights by the contractor hired by Management Controls to do the work,” which is Big Lake Marine Construction in Casco.

Buteau’s attorneys have also said the town of Raymond has singled their client out because he is wealthy. In a statement issued by his attorneys in June, Buteau said, “this case has been enormously expensive for the town and everyone else involved, which I attribute to the town being more focused from the beginning on punishment and the fight, rather than just addressing the problem. I can’t think of any other reason why we have not been able to find a solution to fix this issue in the nearly two years it has been ongoing.”

Raymond has asked Cumberland County Superior Court to order the restoration of Buteau’s two properties on Sebago Lake. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is also seeking “after-the-fact permitting” and formal enforcement to restore the two properties.

Despite requests to restore the Buteau properties to their original state, no restoration work has been done at the properties since the unpermitted work was performed in the summer and early fall of 2021.

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