UNITY — At 6:30 p.m. the meeting started and by 6:33 p.m. it ended.

An appeal of the permit of a Dunkin’ franchise’s relocation to downtown Unity was delayed Monday night at a planning board of appeals meeting at the Unity Community Center.

Bob Van Deventer, chairperson of the Unity Planning Board of Appeals, started the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and the decision to delay and send the appeal back to the planning board was reached by a 7-0 unanimous vote within minutes.

“It’s in strange times that we live, and I would say that we want the best for the town of Unity whether we agree or we don’t agree on certain situations,” Van Deventer told meeting attendees. “I would say that if there are people who want to come to the next meeting if it’s not solved … we need to hear that from the people who are directly involved.”

Van Deventer said he spoke to lawyers from both sides.

The Planning Board will finalize their approval of the project. Then the appeals panel will discuss the project again Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the snowmobile club in Unity.

Kristin Mozes, who lives near the site of the proposed Dunkin’ and is an outspoken critic of the project, attended the meeting with her husband, Steven, and landlord, Liz Dyer, who owns the property abutting the proposed restaurant.

Dunkin’ franchisee Colleen Bailey of Norridgewock, current Dunkin’ manager Heather Fletcher and assistant manager Jody Vigeant attended.

In October, Mozes submitted a petition signed by 60 neighbors to Unity’s Board of Selectmen stating their opposition to the Dunkin’ move and asking for more time for public comment.

Unity’s lone Dunkin’ is at The Depot Country Store on Depot Street. The new proposal, which was approved by the Unity Planning Board in September, will allow Dunkin’ a standalone 2,064-square-foot restaurant with a two-lane drive-thru and 18 parking spaces.

The entrance to the Dunkin’ would be off Vickery Lane where Mozes and her husband rent a house. Kristin Mozes and Dyer filed an official appeal to Unity Town Clerk Kari Hunt on Oct. 21. They hired Damariscotta attorney Peter W. Drum, who wrote in the appeal that the town’s planning board violated state law by violating the town’s land-use ordinance.

“The Unity Planning Board committed multiple violations of Maine law by disregarding numerous requirements of the ordinance and by failing to provide a written finding of facts and conclusion of law on the requirements of the land-use ordinance,” Drum wrote in the appeal.

In past interviews with the Morning Sentinel, Unity Select Board Chairperson Penny Picard Sampson disagreed with Mozes’s findings, saying that Unity’s downtown district is already commercial, all permits are in place and the project was thoroughly advertised.

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