Town of Wells, Maine
Zoning Board of Appeals
Findings of Fact
On Tuesday, August 14, 2007, the Zoning Board of Appeals of Wells, Maine held a public
hearing on an Administrative Appeal by Wells Realty, LP, a Maine Limited Partnership with an
address of 12 Brook Street, Wellesley, MA 02482 pursuant to §145-67A (1) (Administrative
Appeals) of the Town of Wells Land Use Ordinances.
The Appellant is appealing the decision of the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) that the division
of a parcel which is, in part, the site of a non-conforming use (a campground) should be
prohibited. Specifically, the CEO ruled as follows:
“Currently the lot has conforming and non-conforming uses. The lot is partially situated
in the General Business District with conforming uses and currently contains non-
conforming uses of a campground/lodging area situated in the Residential A District.
The division of the property will result in the campground/lodging area becoming more
non-conforming in use in the Residential A District.
The division of the property would cause the properties to [lose] its non-conformity rights
since the lot is being disrupted, interrupting uses in whole. The only authority that would
have the ability to permit variations in non-conformity is the Zoning Board of Appeals.”
FINDINGS OF FACT:
1. The subject property is located at 924 Post Road, Wells. The property is located at the
intersection of Post Road (U.S. Route 1) and Buzzell Road.
2. The property is depicted on Wells Tax Map 120 as Lots 3 and 3A.
3. The Appellant demonstrated its “right, title, and interest” in the property by presenting a
copy of a “Contract for the Sale of Commercial Real Estate” to purchase the property in
4. The property is presently used as a restaurant (Haddock Jack’s) and a motel, cottages, and
campground operated under the name of “Overlook Resort”.
5. The restaurant, motel, and cottages are located within the General Business District.
6. The campground is located within the Residential A District. The campground is a
lawfully pre-existing non-conforming use of the property.
7. The Appellant has proposed a division of the property. That portion of the property (5.06
acres, more or less) located in General Business District is to be redeveloped in a manner
that would conform, in all respects, to the Wells Zoning Ordinance.
8. The campground would be left as a stand-alone, non-conforming use in the Residential A
District. The campground will not be expanded.
9. The CEO has asserted that the division of the property would increase the degree of non-
conformity, and therefore, the action would cause the campground to lose its character as
a lawfully, non-conforming use.
10. §145-12 of the Town of Wells Land Use Ordinances states that “A non-conforming use
may continue to exist although the use does not conform to the requirements of this
chapter. The normal upkeep and maintenance, repairs, renovations or modernizations
which do not expand the non-conforming use shall be permitted.”
1. The ownership and use of that portion of the property located in the General Business
District will change, however, the non-conforming use of that portion of the land located
in the Residential A District will not change, and furthermore, the non-conformity will
not be expanded.
2. §145-12 states that a legally non-conforming use may continue to exist. Continuation of
legally non-conforming status is not conditioned upon ownership. Additionally,
continuation of legally non-conforming status is not adversely affected by the proposed
new lot line.
3. It is the conclusion of the Zoning Board of Appeals that the actions of the Appellant are
not prohibited under §145-12.
Based upon the above Findings of Facts and Conclusions, on August 28, 2007, the Wells Zoning
Board of Appeals decided by a vote of 5 to 0 grant your Administrative Appeal and allow the
division of the subject property as proposed.
Wilber L. Gosbee, Chairman