474 A.2d 496 (Me. 1984), Spain v. City of Brewer

Citation:474 A.2d 496
Opinion Judge:NICHOLS,
Party Name:Randolph SPAIN, Jr. et al. v. CITY OF BREWER [*]
Attorney:Eaton, Peabody, Bradford & Veague, P.A., Thomas C. Johnston (orally), Bangor, for plaintiffs. Ferris, Dearborn & Willey, Joel A. Dearborn (orally), Brewer, for defendant.
Judge Panel:Before McKUSICK, C.J., and NICHOLS, ROBERTS, VIOLETTE, WATHEN and GLASSMAN, JJ.
Case Date:April 25, 1984
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

Page 496

474 A.2d 496 (Me. 1984)

Randolph SPAIN, Jr. et al.

v.

CITY OF BREWER [*]

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.

April 25, 1984

Argued Sept. 9, 1983.

Page 497

Eaton, Peabody, Bradford & Veague, P.A., Thomas C. Johnston (orally), Bangor, for plaintiffs.

Ferris, Dearborn & Willey, Joel A. Dearborn (orally), Brewer, for defendant.

Before McKUSICK, C.J., and NICHOLS, ROBERTS, VIOLETTE, WATHEN and GLASSMAN, JJ.

NICHOLS, Justice.

The issue presented on this appeal concerns the scope of a municipality's authority to deny an application for a permit to establish an automobile graveyard or junkyard pursuant to 30 M.R.S.A. §§ 2451-2460 (1978). 1

The Plaintiffs, Green Point Auto Salvage Company, Inc. and its president and principal stockholder, Randolph Spain, Jr., own and operate an automobile salvage yard located on the Green Point Road in Brewer. The business consists of purchasing damaged or discarded motor vehicles, dismantling them and then salvaging or reconditioning their usable parts for resale. Twice a year the unused remains of the dismantled vehicles are crushed or "compacted" and removed from the site.

Before establishing the salvage business at this first location in February, 1981, the

Page 498

Plaintiffs applied for, and were refused, a certificate of occupancy by the local code enforcement officer. After hearing, the Brewer Zoning Board of Appeals reversed that decision and ordered issuance of a certificate of occupancy, concluding that the salvage operation was a permitted use in an industrial district because it involved "processing" and "wholesaling." Brewer Zoning Ordinance, ch. 24, art. 3, § 308.2. No appeal was taken from that ruling. The Plaintiffs then sought and obtained an automobile graveyard and junkyard permit from the Brewer City Council pursuant to 30 M.R.S.A. §§ 2451-2460 and Brewer Zoning Ordinance, ch. 20, art. 2, §§ 212-212.4.

In July, 1981, the Plaintiff, Randolph Spain, Jr., purchased a 9.5 acre lot located across the road from the existing salvage yard but within the same industrial district for the purpose of expanding the business. He filed an application for a second automobile graveyard permit with the City Council in the name of the Plaintiff Corporation on February 25, 1982. After a lengthy public hearing held in April, 1982, the City Council voted to deny the Plaintiff's application, stating the following reasons:

  1. [I]t is the sense of the Council that a junkyard and/or automobile graveyard is not a permitted use in the Industrial District under the City Zoning Ordinance ... [and]

  2. [I]t is the sense of the Council that development of the land for a junkyard and/or automobile graveyard will cause pollution to Felts [B]rook ... as a result of oil, grease and other substances draining from the yard into ditches ... that eventually flow into Felts [B]rook .... (Emphasis added).

The Plaintiffs sought review of the Council's decision in Superior Court pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 80B. After reviewing the briefs and the record, but without taking any additional evidence, that court entered judgment for the Plaintiffs, reversing the City Council's decision to deny the...

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10 practice notes
  • 533 A.2d 912 (Me. 1987), Ray v. Town of Camden
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 25, 1987
    ...stated that the authority to make a zoning determination must be expressly granted by statute or ordinance. See Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498-99 (Me.1984); Cope v. Town of Brunswick, 464 A.2d 223, 225 (Me.1983); Town of Windham v. LaPointe, 308 A.2d 286, 290 (Me.1973). There is......
  • 483 A.2d 735 (Me. 1984), Your Home, Inc. v. City of Portland
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 5, 1984
    ...basis in the evidence, an abuse of discretion, or an error of law in its interpretation of the zoning ordinance. Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498 (Me.1984). While we may not make independent findings of fact, Driscoll v. Gheewalla, 441 A.2d 1023, 1026 (Me.1982), "the construc......
  • 521 A.2d 283 (Me. 1987), Hammond Lumber Co. v. Finance Authority of Maine
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • February 11, 1987
    ...examine the record as developed before the administrative agency. Radin v. Crowley, 516 A.2d 962, 964 (Me.1986); Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498 (Me.1984). In this instance our review is limited to determining whether the Authority acted within its discretion or committed an erro......
  • 531 A.2d 1272 (Me. 1987), Rockland Plaza Realty Corp. v. LaVerdiere's Enterprises, Inc.
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • October 9, 1987
    ...site plan based on its own interpretation of the review ordinance as applied to the site plan before it. See Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 499 (Me.1984); Driscoll v. Gheewalla, 441 A.2d 1023, 1026 (Me.1982); see also Bruk v. Town of Georgetown, 436 A.2d 894, 897 (Me.1981). We canno......
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10 cases
  • 533 A.2d 912 (Me. 1987), Ray v. Town of Camden
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 25, 1987
    ...stated that the authority to make a zoning determination must be expressly granted by statute or ordinance. See Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498-99 (Me.1984); Cope v. Town of Brunswick, 464 A.2d 223, 225 (Me.1983); Town of Windham v. LaPointe, 308 A.2d 286, 290 (Me.1973). There is......
  • 483 A.2d 735 (Me. 1984), Your Home, Inc. v. City of Portland
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 5, 1984
    ...basis in the evidence, an abuse of discretion, or an error of law in its interpretation of the zoning ordinance. Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498 (Me.1984). While we may not make independent findings of fact, Driscoll v. Gheewalla, 441 A.2d 1023, 1026 (Me.1982), "the construc......
  • 521 A.2d 283 (Me. 1987), Hammond Lumber Co. v. Finance Authority of Maine
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • February 11, 1987
    ...examine the record as developed before the administrative agency. Radin v. Crowley, 516 A.2d 962, 964 (Me.1986); Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498 (Me.1984). In this instance our review is limited to determining whether the Authority acted within its discretion or committed an erro......
  • 531 A.2d 1272 (Me. 1987), Rockland Plaza Realty Corp. v. LaVerdiere's Enterprises, Inc.
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • October 9, 1987
    ...site plan based on its own interpretation of the review ordinance as applied to the site plan before it. See Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 499 (Me.1984); Driscoll v. Gheewalla, 441 A.2d 1023, 1026 (Me.1982); see also Bruk v. Town of Georgetown, 436 A.2d 894, 897 (Me.1981). We canno......
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