The town of Clinton is asking a judge to dismiss an appeal made by a former resident about demolishing his home on Main Street, which was deemed a dangerous building in January.

The town’s Board of Selectmen declared the home of Charles “Buddy” McIntyre at 1167 Main St. a dangerous building and ordered the building to be torn down, which would have ended decades of dispute between McIntyre and the town.

McIntyre has owned the property since 1977, but the dilapidated building hasn’t had power since the end of 2017. McIntyre has been living in an apartment in Winslow since he was forced out, but he has contended he wants to remain in the Clinton home. He has said he planned to make the necessary repairs, but the green building has remained in rough shape for years.

During the meeting at which the building was declared dangerous, Code Enforcement Officer Frank Gioffre said he inspected the interior and exterior of the building and found it in a dilapidated state, with signs of rodents and rot throughout the house. The sky could be seen through the roof, he said, and extension cords were running along the floor throughout the house, creating an unsafe environment.

A structural engineer said the building was not safe to be in and was a fire hazard.

The selectmen ordered the building torn down by March, and if McIntyre didn’t meet that deadline, the town could demolish the building at McIntyre’s expense. McIntyre was present at the meeting and spoke, but he left before the selectmen made a decision. McIntyre was served in Jan. 30 with the order to demolish the building.

McIntyre filed his appeal March 30 in Kennebec County Superior Court, but the town of Clinton has asked that the appeal be dismissed, saying McIntyre missed his window to appeal. In a Superior Court filing dated April 5 and filed by attorney Mary Denison, the town contends McIntyre would have needed to file his appeal within 30 days of notice of action, so his window to appeal expired on March 2.

In his handwritten appeal, McIntyre contends the town “didn’t have legal proper procedure, such as exterior warrant (sic), and administrative warrant (sic) to go in my home,” and he asks for 60 days for “discovery of transcript and the town of Clinton already has one. Any other evidence I may find necessary.”

His appeal states that he delivered his notice by hand to Town Manager Pam Violette and by mail to Denison.

McIntyre has been at odds with the town and his immediate neighbors over the state of his property for years, and he has claimed the town actively worked against him to force him out and tear his home down. He has argued that all he wants to do is stay in his home, but his opponents claim he has tried to make himself appear a victim while he let his property deteriorate into its current condition. When the building was declared dangerous in January, multiple abutters came out to speak about the condition of McIntyre’s property, claiming it was an eyesore that also posed a risk to adjacent properties.

While admitting the home did need repairs — specifically to the roof, which has holes and is covered in blue tarps — he said health complications had prevented him from making repairs.

He also said his belongings in his yard, some of which were stored in or around vehicles that have been repossessed, were not visually disruptive to neighbors. But dating back to the 1980s, McIntyre and the town have battled over the condition of his home and his right to keep what the town deemed to be an illegal junkyard.

McIntyre and the town have gone to court in the past, when the town tried in the 1990s to declare the home a dangerous building. In 1994, the two sides battled over McIntyre’s right to build a full-size gallows with a noose, which he built to demonstrate against what he perceived to be unfair treatment. The gallows were removed in 1998.

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.

McIntyre also maintains that a piece of land next to his property that was claimed by the town is still his. 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 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 also has claimed that the town has treated him unfairly, as evidenced by the town repossessing a number of vehicles from his yard in mid-December. He says all the seized vehicles were registered properly and were on private property, so there were no grounds for taking them. He also claims that property of his was destroyed when the vehicles were taken.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

 

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