The Maine Supreme Court on May 19, 2020 ruled in favor of Friends of Lamoine’s lawsuit against the town to reverse the Appeals Board’s order to approve MacQuinn’s permit to remove Cousins Hill. The Lamoine Appeals Board’s decision had reversed the Lamoine Planning Board’s denial of the permit for a second time in 2017 after a lengthy process. The above explanation may appear confusing. Simply stated, Maine’s Supreme Court, with a unanimous vote of six justices, has ordered no gravel mining of the remaining 43 acres of Cousins Hill. An excellent article in the Ellsworth American contains a good synopsis of the story.
This is not the end of the story, however. On June 1 attorneys for MacQuinn filed a “motion for reconsideration”. In it are many well-known details of the case they wish reconsidered. On June 5 MacQuinn’s attorneys filed an addendum to their June 1 motion in which they responded to a quote in the above referenced Ellsworth American article by then acting Planning Board chairman Don Bamman, claiming bias.
In most situations, once a Supreme Court renders an opinion, it is considered the final word. It would be typical for the Court to dismiss this motion and its addendum. Unless the motion is considered, it is unnecessary for the town or FOL to respond via counsel to this motion. It does however, potentially delay the action of the Appeals Board to reverse their decision, and therefore the Planning Board’s denial of the permit. The May 19 Supreme Court decision concludes,
Judgment affirmed. Remanded to the Business and Consumer Docket with instructions to remand the matter to the Board of Appeals to reinstate the Planning Board’s denial of the permit application.
It is unclear whether the motion for reconsideration is enough to delay the Court’s instructions. It is also unclear whether Harold MacQuinn, Inc. will ever accept any limits on gravel mining by the Town of Lamoine.