AUGUSTA — The city of Gardiner and the owner of an in-town building have settled a dispute over the use of the property at 122 Brunswick Ave.

A special exception permit agreed to by both parties and approved by a judge allows professional offices to operate in a unit on the first floor only.

The consent agreement, which was authorized by Gardiner City Council in a vote Aug. 6 and is expected to be signed by councilors, ends a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court.

The city had sued the property owner, Brady Palmer, in March, objecting to his use of the property for a tenant’s business, saying it violated the city’s Land Use Ordinance. That ordinance prohibits commercial office use in the high-density residential zone where the property is located, according to the complaint.

Brady Palmer Realty operated from there for 13 years before Palmer moved the office to Manchester in late 2013. At that point, Palmer filed a building permit application with Gardiner asking whether he could lease the property to a tenant for commercial use, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit began after the city code enforcement officer denied the permit and the Board of Appeals overturned that decision.


Palmer’s attorney, Bill Lee, said that an accountant had wanted to put an office there.

On Wednesday, Lee said that the accountant decided on a different space, and that Lee expects Palmer to seek a new tenant. Palmer is currently using it for one of his real estate businesses.

Lee said Palmer is pleased with the settlement. “It provides him with transferability of the use, which is something he wanted, and it provides a definition of the types of uses that are permitted, which is something that both parties sought to have,” Lee said.

According to the complaint, Paul D. Mathews obtained a special exception in 1984 to use one of the units at 122 Brunswick Ave. for his law office but stopped using it for that purpose more than two years before Palmer purchased the property in October 2000.

The complaint says Palmer then ran a real estate office there “without obtaining any necessary approvals from the city.”

In the consent agreement, the “scope and use of activities” of Unit 1 is spelled out:


• “limited to professional office uses” by doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, surveyors, psychiatrists, counselors, real estate brokers, “and other similar occupations requiring specialized training or education, but not including financial institutions or service businesses.”

• prohibited from expanding, and will be withdrawn if that use is abandoned or discontinued for one-year period.

The city was represented by attorney Jonathan Pottle.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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