Sumner Court Developer to Challenge Findings of Zoning Administrator; Public Hearing May 17th

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,019)

The city’s zoning board of appeals will take up a matter next month in which developer Ron Gan, represented by his attorney, Thomas Jewell, is appealing a decision made by Marge Schmuckal, zoning administrator for the city regarding property on Sumner Court on the Hill.

Back in 2003 Gan and his then wife, bought .29 acres of land on Sumner Court with the intention of developing it into luxury condominiums. Following the purchase of the one plot of land from a Sheldon Ashby, Gan filed a “corrective” deed with the city which in effect turned the property into two separate lots; A and B. This was done apparently so Gan could develop the lots separately, as the real estate market or other factors dictated. In a detailed letter dated February 24, 2012 from Schmuckal to Jewell, the zoning administrator informed the applicant that lot B does not meet the city’s R-6 requirements. (Set backs are less restrictive and permit more intensity than otherwise.) Sumner Court is an unpaved driveway off North Street; near the intersection of Cumberland Avenue.

Gan is the developer of the Federal Street Condominiums and is also the Skinny Cart Food Vendor. He serves on the city’s task force on Food Truck Vendors – an idea he has championed from the beginning.

A public hearing before the zoning appeals board has been set for May 17th to decide who will prevail in this appeal – with a decision to come at a later date. This is a public hearing at which public comment will be taken. The public comment period will be followed by the applicant or his attorney.

The meeting was initially scheduled for next Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 pm on the second floor in Room 209 at Portland City Hall; it was changed to May 17th.

For more information, please email mes@portlandmaine.gov or call Ms. Machado at 874-8709.