Lumbery has begun circulating a petition pressuring the Town of Cape Elizabeth to drop the lawsuit it has filed against the business for continued violation of town ordinances.
The petition has now received nearly 1,000 signatures from Cape Elizabeth residents, representing upwards of 10% of the town’s population.
Lumbery is currently facing a potential $25,000 in fees to the town for “storing several pallets of firewood, picnic tables, stacks of lumber, and other items in the front” of the store.
The approved site plan for Lumbery allows for “minimal outside storage of materials.”
The town is also suing Lumbery for “placing a sign in the front of” the store “without submitting the information necessary for a complete sign permit application.”
Lumbery owner Mike Friedland said that he has spent $165,000 over the course of three years in order to comply with the town’s regulations.
“If the Town Councilors are resolved to stay the course then the Lumbery will need to leave Cape Elizabeth. But if the Councilors are willing to pause the lawsuit and explore zoning changes that could benefit all parties then the Lumbery would be thrilled to stay indefinitely,” Friedland wrote in a Facebook post last week promoting the petition.
Kate Stewart, who started the petition, spoke with WGME about the lawsuit filed against Lumbery.
“Why are we spending our time to try to put him out of business, which he would be on the brink of certainly with all the fines he’s paid, with this lawsuit, versus fostering an environment for a thriving business to continue to thrive?” Stewart said. “And really if this business goes out, and we sit there with a vacant building for another five years, we’ve put the final nail in the coffin of any future businesses wanting to open up in Cape Elizabeth.”
Discussion of the lawsuit against Lumbery is on the agenda for Cape Elizabeth’s upcoming Town Council meeting on July 17th. The agenda allows for 15 minutes of public comment, although this period may be extended by a majority vote of the councilors present.