Plaintiffs File Lawsuit Against City & 32 Thomas Street, LLC For City’s Decision to Approve Zoning Change at Williston West Church


Dr. Frank Monsour's Company, 32 Thomas Street LLC, is a Defendant in a Lawsuit by West Enders

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,185)

Last Tuesday, twelve plaintiffs (some of them husband and wife), filed a ten page lawsuit in Superior Court against the City of Portland and 32 Thomas LLC for the city’s decision to permit a zoning change for the former Williston-West Church on the West End of Portland. That decision made by the City Council last month, allows Dr. Frank Monsour, a businessman from Australia, to establish his start-up medical technology company at the historic Church. The lawsuit asks the Superior Cour to reverse the decision of the city council and declare it to have “no force and effect.”

Dr. Monsour bought the property last December. In January his attorney, Mary Costigan, of Berstein & Shur, and other representatives of his began the process of sheparding the application through the city’s administrative process. At each planning board meeting and city council meeting, the proposal of 32 Thomas LLC, was met with many hours of testimony; usually quite evenly divided between the pros and the cons. On June 18, the city council voted, 6 – 3, to approve the application to change the zoning.

Gary Wood, the city’s corporation counsel, said this morning that there is nothing new from what the opposers have been saying from the start. “There are no new legal claims,” he said. We have already answered their questions at planning board and city council meetings. We will defend and win the case,” he added. In-house attorney Danielle West-Chuta is responsible for handling the case. Wood announced last week that he will be leaving his post with the city on September 14, 2012, alhough he said he will be available to assist in the transition to a new corporation counsel.

There are four attorneys in the case. Bruce A. McGlauflin, representing most of the plaintiffs; Orlando E. Delogu, representing himself and his wife; Mary Costigan representing the applicant and Danielie West-Chuta representing the city of Portland. This many lawyers could complicate the suit if all of the attorneys do not agree to the facts of the case.

Plaintiffs in the case are: Charles and Kathy Remmel, Orlando E. and Judy Delogu, John and Betty Gundersdorf, Samuel and Judith D’Amico, Jerry W. West and Diane Worthington, Judith Mansing and Sid Tripp.

Please visit Post # 1,159, dated 6/19/12 for more background information.