Bob Bittar is appealing the two decisions against him regarding his property on 26 Mill Stream Road, Readfield, where he lived and held a series of free concerts this summer.

Bittar, who also has homes in Monmouth, is appealing the Readfield code enforcement officer’s revoking of a single family occupancy permit and the Planning Board’s Oct. 4 recommendation against rezoning Bittar’s two parcels from rural residential to rural.

In a separate vote on Oct. 29, the Readfield Select Board in 5-0 vote rejected putting Bittar’s rezoning petition out to the voters at the polls.

The Appeals Board hearing, which is open to the public, is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Town Office.

Bittar, 78, has long sought permission to offer music at the site, submitting an application to the Planning Board at one point for permission to operate a town event and community center. He later withdrew that application after some neighbors and other residents voiced opposition March 1 at a public hearing.

Bittar’s property is in the rural residential district, which “accommodates low-density residential use, agriculture and forestry operations which are compatible with the preservation of Readfield’s rural character, and which are protective of sensitive natural resources and scenic/visual quality,” according to the town’s Land Use Ordinance.

The appeal documents and the related decisions are at the Town Office.

In a timeline regarding Bittar’s property, that he was prepared by Readfield Town Manager Eric Dyer drafted, the first entry is a stop-work order dated Dec. 3, 2013, issued because Bittar was making structural changes to the building, a former textile mill, that exceeded normal repair and maintenance.

The timeline also notes that Bittar signed a consent agreement in July 2017 agreeing that the building would be used only as a single-family dwelling, with any change of use to be reviewed and permitted by the Readfield Planning Board.

Bittar also owns a restaurant in town, Readfield Emporium, which closed for the season Nov. 6.

Bittar said Friday that he will attend the Appeals Board hearing on his own and that he has been staying at the barn site while the appeal is underway.

“I haven’t campaigned or asked anyone to attend or in any way publicized it,” said Bittar. He had sought public support prior to some previous hearings.

Bittar added that the board decision will determine his next move.

If the vote goes against him, he said he plans to file a court appeal. Bittar also said he’s hopeful that some resolution can be reached within the law and existing town ordinances that would allow him to operate a cultural events center.

“If the town could resolve this, it would be really important to me,” said Bittar, who has owned property in Readfield for 38 years.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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