33 Pheasant Lane

33 Pheasant Lane in East Falmouth

A developer filed suit against the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals after its decision to revoke the building permit and occupancy permit to 33 Pheasant Lane, East Falmouth.

Dan C. Maclone, a Falmouth builder, would have to tear down the new home he intended to sell if he opted to accept the decision.

The suit was filed with the town January 9 and seeks to reverse the zoning board decision made on December 12, when it granted an application of Edward Van Keuren and ordered Falmouth Building Commissioner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Rod Palmer to rescind the certificate of occupancy.

The plaintiff contends Mr. Van Keuren does not have standing and waited too long to file the appeal.

“What we’re saying is that he would not be harmed by this building,” said Kimberly A. Bielan, attorney for Mr. Maclone, who is a former member of the zoning board.

When Mr. Van Keuren, a neighbor and member of the zoning board of appeals, noticed that the lot was being clear-cut in January last year, he filed an appeal. He said when he bought his home on Pheasant Lane in the 1980s, his real estate agent noted that 33 Pheasant Lane was not buildable, according to a previous Enterprise article.

Mr. Maclone purchased the lot for $165,000 in December 2018 to construct a three-bedroom, Cape-style house. He started construction in January 2019 and finished the house in the summer. He filed a building permit and checked off a box that said there had not been denials to the building permit, but some argue that he should not have checked the box off without knowing for sure. Three denials have been issued on the construction permits on the lot, but Mr. Maclone said he was not aware of them until after the house was built.

In a previous meeting of the appeals board Robert Dugan, clerk of the board, wondered why the developer would check the box on the building application that stated there were no denials without knowing for certain.

Mr. Maclone told the board of appeals that he filed the building permit contingent on the building commissioner’s making his decision on the lot’s buildability. He filed about 10 other building permits in the same way, he said. He argued that it was not his job “to do the commissioner’s job.”

Mr. Maclone was not available for comment. A conference is scheduled in land court on February 20.

(2) comments

Chumley

It will be interesting to find out how the building commissioner could not know that the lot was unbuildable. I would hate to think that there was any collusion between the building commissioner and the builder.

Gadfly

If this gets to trial, it will be interesting to watch. I suspect there is no ill intent on the part of the builder, he probably just expected the Building Dept. to holler if the lot was unbuildable. One wonders why the "whistleblower" did not take immediate action and contact the builder with his concerns when he saw the lot being cleared. This is bad for all parties, including the taxpayers of Falmouth.

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