New Legislation Affecting Public Entities

By Government Services

The Second Regular Session of the 130th Maine Legislature has adjourned, leaving behind several newly enacted laws that apply to municipal and county government and special districts.  We have summarized some of the most important of these below.  Except for new laws enacted as emergency bills, which take effect upon approval by the Governor, these new laws will become effective August 8, 2022. Read More

Recent Maine Law Court Cases Affecting State, County and Local Government

By Government Services

LaMarre v. Town of China, 2021 ME 45, 259 A.3d 764

Abutters (LaMarres) objected to and appealed from the Code Enforcement Officer’s (CEO’s) after-the-fact issuance of a permit to allow placement of a “park model” trailer on a seasonal camp lot.  The Town’s land use ordinance permitted individual private campsites, including “any premises providing temporary accommodation in a recreational vehicle,” with a permit from the CEO.  While the default standard of review for a board of appeals is de novo (to hear anew), the ordinance set out an appellate standard of review, based on the Law Court’s previous interpretations of shoreland zoning ordinance language.  However, there was no written CEO decision setting out findings of fact and no record for the Board of Appeals to review.  Therefore, while the Board of Appeals affirmed the CEO’s decision and the Superior Court reversed, the Law Court remanded the matter to the CEO to issue a reviewable written decision containing findings of fact and conclusions of law, based on the record, and in accordance with administrative due process. Read More