A state judge has denied an appeal by five neighbors opposed to a Wyeth Reading Center being developed by Linda Bean on Horse Point Road in St. George.

The narrow road off Route 131 is less than a mile long and ends at property called Eight Bells, named after a house once owned by N.C. Wyeth and made famous by a Winslow Homer painting. The neighbors argued unsuccessfully before the St. George Planning Board that the road already is unsafe and the reading center would add traffic that would endanger hundreds of pedestrians and children on bicycles.

After the project’s approval was upheld by the zoning board of appeals, the neighbors appealed to the Knox County Unified Court in Rockland in January.

In his ruling issued Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Bruce Mallonee said that the plaintiffs failed to provide a legal basis for overturning the planning board’s decision.

The court was “not charged with evaluating the aesthetic value of the Wyeth Reading Room, the degree to which it might degrade the ambiance of the neighborhood, or the overall wisdom of placing it on the proposed site,” Mallonee said. “The court is disabled from reconsidering the planning board’s evaluation of both lay and expert evidence bearing on the potential danger of increased traffic in this isolated rural setting.

“Plaintiffs’ argument elegantly reprises the points they presented to the board, but provides no legal basis for vacating the board’s decision. The court is therefore compelled to deny the appeal.”

The planning board approved the Wyeth Reading Room on Sept. 26, 2017, and the town’s board of appeals upheld that decision on Dec. 5, 2017.

“Justice was done. The court upheld the decision of the planning board and the zoning board of appeals, and Linda Bean’s Wyeth Reading Room will be an important contribution to the community,” said attorney Paul Gibbons of Camden, who represents Bean.

Five neighbors calling themselves the Horse Point Road Group – Robert and Patricia Hughes, Sandra Dickson Coggeshall, Jonathan Coggeshall and Anita Sigenthaler – filed the appeal with the court.

Bean’s representatives characterized the reading room as a summer destination for people interested in researching the Wyeth family of artists. The 1,400-square-foot building would make Wyeth-related magazines and books available to the public for free, and would feature wall panels with historical information.

The center would be located at 20 Horse Point Road. Five parking spaces are planned, and the developer said it would attract minimal traffic.

The planning board imposed a condition that the reading room may be open by appointment only, and must have a sign clearly stating that to discourage drop-in visitors.

Besides raising the safety issue, the neighbors’ appeal also claimed that the residents’ due-process rights were violated because a member of the planning board, Michael Jordan, has been a vocal proponent of the project.

The neighbors group is represented by attorney Patrick Mellor of Rockland.

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