The town’s fight with a Chichester businessman over breaches at his Dover Road property has spilled over from the planning board to the county courthouse.
That dispute will go to a court hearing in March, when city officials and residents whose property adjoins CM Truck and Trailer Sales will try to force owner Calgary Mackenzie to fix numerous violations on the site that are detailed in Planning Board minutes and court documents.
The business at 46 Dover Road stores trailers outside the approved site plan and is expanding into land owned by adjoining neighbours, including the construction of a “large earth berm, parking area and of a retention pond,” the city said in its lawsuit.
“Other violations include the placement of stone retaining walls, the expansion of the trailer parking area on the south side of the site, and wetland and wetland pads on the north end. -west of the site are filled with parking areas or erosion stones,” the city said. .
A judge will also decide whether Mackenzie must pay city attorney fees as well as fines of $550 a day since July 8, 2021, which would amount to more than $330,000 by the time the case is heard in March.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie has filed his own countersuit against the city, claiming that revoking his site plan should be null and void because the city failed to follow its own rules and failed to give him a written notice.
He explained that after it opened in 2018, sales continued to grow and then soared during the pandemic.
During COVID, “supplier deliveries had become sporadic with little stock arriving for weeks on end and then many orders arriving at the same time, causing a lack of storage space for CM,” he wrote in his lawsuit. . He worked to buy the nearby land and began storing trailers there, intending to file amended site plans once the sale was completed, according to court documents.
Yet, in July 2021, city officials had had enough and sent him a written notice of site violations.
Chichester officials and the company’s two outspoken goalscorers have told Mackenzie to make a long list of changes, including:
Control runoff that spills into neighboring houses; limit noise and the use of headlights at night; approve septic installations on the land; moving trailers stored in unauthorized places; set back the boundaries that have crossed the property of adjoining neighbours; remove retaining walls constructed without documentation on the Mackenzie site plan; and add erosion controls.
City officials said they were frustrated with Mackenzie’s lack of urgency to fix the violations.
He submitted a new site plan on May 5, leading to a walk of the property on May 9. That day, according to the minutes, Mackenzie approached planning coordinator Kristy Jobin and “asked her not to take any photos of the property. He said it was rude and asked how Ms. Jobin would like him to come to her house to take pictures.
“Ms. Jobin told Mr. Mackenzie that this was a public meeting and that the photos are for reference. Also, since this was a public meeting, it is not there is no expectation of confidentiality.
Jobin stopped taking photos and quickly left with city officials.
Then, on June 16, Jobin mentioned that the site “still looked the same as the day the ban was ordered and that the plaintiff has made no good faith effort to bring the site into compliance.”
Mackenzie’s lawyer, Pat Panciocco of Bedford, said Jobin need not speak since she was not a member of the planning board.
It is unclear how much work has already been completed. A representative for CM Trucking said Mackenzie preferred not to comment.
His lawsuit says some work was delayed because he needed input from state surveyors, engineers and environmental officials. “CM has made substantial progress toward compliance,” the lawsuit states.
Panciocco was unavailable for comment, but explained his client’s perspective during a spring meeting. She described her client as a young businessman who needed more seasoning and pragmatism. That’s why he mistakenly used someone else’s land as a warehouse before he got city approval.
“He thought it was storage and really didn’t think about it,” Panciocco said in the court filing. “He’s 24. That’s kind of the way I thought about it.”
Chichester officials also declined to comment due to ongoing litigation. In the past, board members have said they would rather work with Mackenzie than fight him.
Residents most affected by Mackenzie’s affairs had a lot to say, including Dave Morey and his wife, Diane, and married couple Meghan Rothaermel and Earl Lund.
Morey is concerned about traffic, headlights shining in his window and snow being pushed onto his property, among other things
Rothaermel has a view of the trailers on the berm in his garden. She wants Mackenzie to leave her land and a bigger buffer between properties.
Planning Council Chairman Stan Brehm didn’t mince words with Mackenzie.
“From the perception of the city, when you were spoken to, it appeared that instead of working with the city, you continued to move forward and further develop the property. It was stretched,” Brehm said.
Although he disputed some facts, Mackenzie apologized.
“I want to let you know I made mistakes, I’ll fix the mistakes,” he said. “We are only humans.”
Since then, he has taken a tougher stance, specifically challenging Brehm’s comments in court documents.
“This is completely unfounded as CM received no written notice of specific violations until July 8, 2021 and even that did not relate to ownership,” he wrote in his counterclaim.
A note on the company’s website said it would be closed on weekends and reopen Monday after the owner’s wedding.
“The sky is the limit, never be afraid to pursue your dreams,” he wrote. “You will never succeed in life if you don’t take the risk.”