Court backs city in Williston-West rezoning

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PORTLAND — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Oct. 16 upheld City Council approval of a conditional zone for the former Williston-West church properties at 26 and 32 Thomas St.

The 6-0 decision, with Chief Justice Leigh Sauffley recusing herself, overturned a Dec. 31, 2013, Cumberland County Superior Court ruling by Justice Joyce Wheeler that City Council approval violated the Comprehensive Plan and state conditional zoning laws.

The high court decision allows Australian businessman Frank Mansour to convert the former parish house for mixed-use including a bottom-floor office for his Global Magella Technologies software firm.

Mansour bought the properties for $658,000 in December 2011. Councilors approved the rezoning plan on June 18, 2012. Neighbors took the decision to court on July 17, 2012.