letter to the editor

Let's take our property rights back!

Posted:  Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 7:15am

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Article #4 (Repeal of the Historic Preservation Ordinance) on the warrent ballot for Nov. 7 election.  I am also urging other Wiscasset taxpayers/residents to join me in voting yes on Article #4.

Wiscasset is a special and unique place and a sensible approach to conservation and preservation is needed. The current Ordinance is neither sensible or property owner friendly. It is just the opposite. The current Ordinance and its Commission is a bureaucratic nightmare for taxpayers/property owners. For example, currently, a property owner who wishes to install a new window or front door is required to complete a daunting multi page application and submit it with the required application fees and maybe required to pay additional fees for public notification in local papers and fees for notifying abutting property owners. They must then be scheduled for a meeting in front of the commission (which could take weeks to get) and then hope for the best. I won't go into the less then professional treatment some residents have endured from the Commission during the process as this has been previously reported and we are all aware of it.

Wiscasset has a town manager and codes enforcement office. We also have a Planning Board and Appeals Board. A town planner may be back on staff soon. These folks can get the job done and ensure a sensible approach to historic preservation in Wiscasset.

In my neighborhood alone, there are three property owners that I know of, who have postponed scheduled repairs and improvements simply because they do not want to deal with the hassle and expense of this ordinance. This ordinance does not promote growth but stifles it.

Please vote yes on Article #4 to repeal this ordinance and take back your property rights!

Lonnie Kennedy-Patterson