GREENVILLE — Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission on Friday approved the appointment of Nicholas Livesay as executive director of the newly overhauled agency, which oversees development in the state’s 10 million-acre Unorganized Territory.

The commission voted unanimously to approve Livesay’s appointment effective Aug. 20. He will be taking over during a period of major transition in the 41-year-old agency.

During the session that ended earlier this year, the Legislature changed the seven-member Land Use Regulation Commission to a nine-member Land Use Planning Commission, with heavier representation from the counties in its jurisdiction. Those and other changes take place Aug. 30.

The heavily debated changes were the final result of a bill that initially sought to abolish LURC altogether. It was submitted amid pressure in the Legislature and from Gov. Paul LePage to ease or eliminate what many saw as excessive state regulations and red tape.

Livesay is a Bowdoin College graduate and earned a law degree at the Boston University School of Law in 2004. He is an associate in the Pierce Atwood law firm in Portland, specializing in environmental matters. Among the cases in which he’s been involved is one of the most prominent ones overseen by LURC, Plum Creek’s proposed residential and recreational development near northern Maine’s Moosehead Lake.

Livesay replaces Catherine Carroll, who resigned in January.

In other business Friday, the commission decided to refer to the state attorney general an enforcement action against Mountain Inc., operator of the inactive Big Squaw Mountain Ski Resort.

LURC says Mountain harvested trees near the resort without a permit and that the land has deed restrictions for timber harvesting. Mountain officials say there was no violation and the logging operation just needs an “after-the-fact” permit.

 

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