Bruk v. Town of Georgetown – Case Brief Summary (Maine)

In Bruk v. Town of Georgetown, 436 A.2d 894, 897 (Me. 1981), the court was considering whether a Board's denial of a proposed subdivision was supported by substantial evidence in the record.

The Law Court upheld the Board's decision in part because it was supported by its finding that the developer had not tallied costs associated with the project in a way that satisfied the Board that the developer had adequate financial capacity to cover those costs. See id., n. 5.

This opinion merely reaffirms that a planning board has broad discretion to make factual findings, and that the findings will not be overturned by the court on appeal if they are supported by substantial evidence in the record. See id.

This opinion does not add to the minimum requirements for approval as stated in 30-A M.R.S. § 4404(10) and Ordinance § 14-525(c)(9). Under these requirements, the Board was entitled to find, based on Waterview's presentation of the scale and total estimated cost of the project, as well as the letter of strong interest from Key Bank, that Waterview had demonstrated adequate financial capacity to complete the development. See id.

30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404(10) states:

When adopting any subdivision regulations and when reviewing any subdivision for approval, the municipal reviewing authority shall consider the following criteria and, before granting approval, must determine that: (10) the subdivider has adequate financial and technical capacity to meet the requirements of this section.