Loon Echo Land Trust faces shoreland zoning fine

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Bridgton Code Enforcement Officer Robbie Baker will recommend to Bridgton Selectmen that the Loon Echo Land Trust be fined $1,000 for building a hiking trail parking lot too close to a stream on the side of Pleasant Mountain.

Baker said the parking lot, built recently to serve the Blaze Trail, violates the town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance by being 40 feet away from the stream, when the required distance is 75 feet. He said the violation was called to his attention by a resident living near the trail, which is located just past Shawnee Peak Ski Resort on the Mountain Road.

The trail accesses steep land on hundreds of acres preserved by LELT under a conservation easement. Runoff into Moose Pond, below the mountain, is a major environmental concern, he said.

“It’s too bad, because Loon Echo does so many good things,” Baker said. He said the parking lot was built to stop people from parking on the side of Mountain Road and causing a potential traffic hazard.

The lot was built by Kiehl Construction, said Baker. He said he has met with Jon Evans and Dave Diller of LELT on the issue, as well as members of the Moose Pond Association, and Colin Holme of the Lakes Environmental Association.

Baker said the LELT Board of Directors will go over the consent agreement. After that, he said, he will bring it before Bridgton Selectmen for final action.

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