Court tells Cape Elizabeth board to reconsider approved business

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CAPE ELIZABETH — A court has ordered the Planning Board to re-evaluate some elements in an application approved last year.

Paul Woods, owner of Rudy’s of the Cape, sued the town on June 18, 2015, for failing to follow the same procedure with an application for 539-541 Ocean House Road that it used for his business. The Cumberland County Superior Court on May 10 remanded the case to the Planning Board for additional findings of fact.

The finding came after the board in May 2015 approved an application for Summer Oven, a 30-seat pizza restaurant that has not yet been established. The property, owned by Nick Tammaro, houses his landscaping business, two greenhouses, and retail tenants. One tenant was being evicted to accommodate the pizza restaurant.

Woods attended a May 2015 Planning Board meeting with a lawyer, Lauren Weliver of Perkins Thompson in Portland, who advised the board it was approving Tammaro’s plan prematurely and without applying the same standards it had applied to Woods’ plan for Rudy’s.

The board disagreed, and Woods sued.

Rudy’s of the Cape, which Woods bought in October 2011, reopened in March 2015 at 517 Ocean House Road after a lengthy approval process for renovations and new construction.

The court’s May 10 order says the Planning Board must review Tammaro’s application again and focus on specific issues involving lighting, landscaping, and stormwater management.

The board must determine if the property’s lighting is adequate for safety measures, if the plantings along the edge of the property obscure the view of parked cars, and if the proposed stormwater management system meets town standards.

Neither Tammaro nor the lawyer who represented Woods in the lawsuit, Peggy McGehee of Perkins Thompson, could be reached for comment.

The Planning Board on June 21 discussed the three areas that need review and tabled the discussion to its July meeting. Board Chairman Peter Curry said the board in July will make final decisions on the findings of fact and submit them to the court.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Paul Woods, owner of Rudy’s of the Cape at 517 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, sued the town for allegedly failing to follow proper procedure when approving an application for a business nearby.

The Planning Board has to review an application it approved last year at 539-541 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth after a case was remanded to the board by Cumberland County Superior Court.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.