Downeast Coastal Press
October 31, 2006
Sale of Property Blocked by State Since July 2006
Lubec Landowner: New Law Giving DEP Power to Restrict Development Has Devalued Our Property
The following open letter was mailed to Sen. Kevin Raye (R-Perry), with a copy to the Downeast Coastal Press, on October 25. – Editor
Dear Senator Raye:
I am writing this letter because of the problems the state has descended upon Lubec and the surrounding areas [as a result of LD 1981, the law passed earlier this year where it was revealed that the Department of Environmental Protection now has the power to restrict development within 250 feet of the shoreline]. It is a concern of many people affected-a law that was passed concerning offshore limitations.
My sister and I own land in the town of Lubec. One particular piece of land has been in our family for over 50 years. It was purchased in 1956.
Our father passed away [in] February 2005 and in his will he left this land to my sister and me. It was left as our inheritance. Our father did not have many assets after an arsonist had burned down his home in South Lubec. At the time the house burned, we were residing in Montreal, Canada, because of my father's career change. He kept his house in Lubec, returning every few months to enjoy the view and peace of mind and also enjoying his close friends.
Our father lost everything he owned and worked for; he was left with just the land where the house was and his oceanfront property across the street. He wanted us to have the land, thinking that he left his children something of value. We decided to put the oceanfront property up for sale so it could benefit our lives better as we knew our father would want.
Since the land has been up for sale in 2005, we have been running into continuous problems caused by the state. Once we had an interested buyer, in March 2006, we found out that we are facing a new shore zone law. It was stated that no building of any sort [could be done] within 250 feet of tidal shoreline. This was an automatic reduction of our acres for use.
We continue encountering more problems and our price of sale is constantly becoming lower. We have already lost $80,000, assuming it sells at the closer time. The outcome is still uncertain. This reduces the value of the land that our father had thought he would be leaving us. We have so much to lose personally, feeling that our father's wishes were not met.
We were not notified of this law change and had no idea this was happening. I feel we were misled in not knowing until we had an interested buyer. As a taxpayer in Lubec, I feel that changes as important as these should be [made] known to the public so that property owners can defend their rights.
My sister and I are left with uncertainty as to what can be done with our land. Can you please rescind the power that was given to the agency without anyone's prior knowledge?
Property owner in Lubec
June Rose McComeau and her sister Debbie Rose Chilakas grew up in Lubec. They are living in Canada as US citizeens for reasons of health. This open letter was published as a news item starting on page 1 of the DCP.
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More on the “habitat” land control agenda for Maine: www.moosecove.com/propertyrights/index.shtml#habitat