Fryeburg Legal Timeline

In June of 2005: Nestlé Waters North America submitted an application to the Fryeburg Planning Board to construct a trucking facility in a Rural Residential District. The site would be used to load up to 50 eighteen-wheeler water tanker trucks over a 24 hour period, seven days a week, 365 days a year with water extracted from the neighboring town of Denmark. All trucks would enter onto a section of Rt 302 that is identified by the Maine Department of Transportation as a high crash location.

On October 19, 2005:
the Fryeburg Planning Board approved a 16 page result orientated decision drafted by only one member of the board and not shared with all members of the Planning Board until the night of the vote.

A loose knit group on citizens formed, calling themselves “Western Maine Residents for Rural Living.” The group hired an attorney and exercised their democratic right to file an appeal to the Fryeburg Zoning Board of Appeals in regards to the Planning Board’s decision.

On January 27, 2006:
the Fryeburg Zoning Board of Appeals denied Nestlé’s permit issued by the Planning Board.

On March 21, 2006: Nestlé Waters North America Inc, as plaintiff, filed suit in the Oxford County Superior Court system against the Inhabitants of the Town of Fryeburg, Maine, the Board of Appeals of Said Town and Western Maine Residents for Rural Living.

On August 9, 2006:
Superior Court Justice Roland A. Cole remanded the case back to the Fryeburg Planning Board for additional findings and conclusions on key points brought up by the citizens of Fryeburg in 2005.

On August 24, 2006: Nestlé does not follow Judge Cole’s remand, and instead filed suit in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Nestlé Waters North America v. Inhabitants of the Town of Fryeburg and Western Maine Residents for Rural Living.

On July 24, 2007:
After numerous filing of briefs and oral testimony by both parties, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court concludes that because the Superior Court’s remand was not acted on by the Planning Board in Fryeburg, the case was not ripe for them to make a decision. The Court dismissed Nestlé’s arguments.

From July 31 to November 13, 2007: The Fryeburg Planning Board addressed the Superior Court remand and on November, 13 2007 denied Nestlé’s permit.

December 2007: Nestlé filed an appeal of the 2007 Fryeburg Planning Board’s decision to the local Fryeburg Zoning Board of Appeals.

On January 28, 2008:
The Fryeburg Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the 2007 Planning Board decision and denies Nestlé a permit again.

On March 2008: Nestlé sued the town of Fryeburg again in the Maine Superior Court, Nestle Waters North America Inc v. Inhabitants of the Town of Fryeburg and Western Maine Residents for Rural Living.

On July 31, 2008: Judge Cole of the Maine Superior Court denied Nestlé a permit.

On September 25, 2008: Nestlé Waters North America Inc brings suit again to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Nestlé Waters North America Inc appellant v. Town of Fryeburg, Maine and Western Maine Residents for Rural Living, appellees.

As of October 17, 2008: The Supreme Court is awaiting the brief of Western Maine Residents for Rural Living.