CLINTON — After decades of debate and legal battles with a resident over the condition of his property, the town will hold a meeting next week to hear public comment on declaring a Main Street property he owns a dangerous building.

The property, owned by Charles “Buddy” McIntyre, has been the subject of countless arguments between the owner and the town going back to the 1980s. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in the selectmen’s room at the Town Office, at 27 Baker St.

According to Maine statute, to declare a building dangerous, town or state officials must “find that the building is structurally unsafe, unstable or unsanitary; constitutes a fire hazard; is unsuitable or improper for the use or occupancy to which it is put; constitutes a hazard to health or safety because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment; or is otherwise dangerous to life or property.”

If a building is deemed dangerous, it may be removed at the owner’s expense.

In the 1990s, the town took McIntyre to court to force him to demolish another unsafe building. He refused and was cited for contempt of court.

Starting in 1994, the two sides battled over McIntyre’s right to build a full-sized gallows with a noose and to maintain what the town considered an illegal junkyard. McIntyre built the gallows to demonstrate against what he deemed to be unfair treatment from town officials over land use laws.

The gallows came down in 1998, at which time McIntyre claimed the town’s tractor caught the side of his garage, putting the holes in the ceiling.

In 2006, the town ordered the demolition of McIntyre’s one-car garage. At the time, the town’s code enforcement officer wanted the garage declared a dangerous building, calling it structurally unsafe, unstable and hazardous. The garage had two big holes in its roof, the floor and sills had rotted and the building was pulling away from the house. McIntyre contended the building could be fixed. McIntyre was ordered to tear down the decaying garage, or else the town would demolish it at his expense.

The town and McIntyre reached an agreement more than a decade ago for McIntyre to clean up the property, but that did not happen.

In 2007, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a ruling by a lower court that gave Clinton title to a piece of property next to McIntyre’s. That land was the site where the gallows once had stood, and McIntyre claimed it was his. The town succeeded in claiming the land as its own after failing to collect fees and fines from McIntyre.

McIntyre could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

No one appears to be living at the dilapidated Main Street building, which is painted green. The mailboxes were filled with tools, windows were either broken or covered with plastic, and blue tarps covered the side of the building and the roof. On Thursday night, no lights shined in the house, and the driveway had not been shoveled. There was no car in the driveway.

The town’s code enforcement officer, Frank Gioffre, declined to comment without the town manager present and, when asked questions, referred to the notice of the public meeting.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

 

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