Help save the Lumbery

Save the Lumbery

I am writing today to ask for your support with a serious issue the Lumbery is facing.

The Representatives of the People of the Town of Cape Elizabeth are suing the Lumbery for perceived violations to the Code of Ordinances dating back to November 2020. More specifically to a generic Code that states that any alterations to an approved site plan is a violation.

What is the actual complaint? The Town has a dispute regarding the location of outdoor display items as dictated by the Town Planning Board independent of Town Ordinances (see reference).

What is the potential fine? The fine, depending upon the ruling of the judge, can exceed 4.5 million dollars.

Have you tried to work with the Town? YES. Over the past 3+ years the Lumbery has presented before the Planning Board 25 times over the course of 25 months and has spent over $165,000 in expenses unrelated to the improvement of the space or the operation of the business.

Why not simply comply with the Town demands? The fundamental operation of our business relies upon the flexibility to create and move outdoor displays depending upon the season as well as the market. The Town interpretation of the site plan does not, in theory, allow for this. We cannot stay in business and “compliance” at the same time.

Is there a solution? We hope so. Otherwise we will be out of business or be forced to leave Cape Elizabeth. Our goal is to work towards a solution that is agreeable to all parties. Ideally this would include making changes to support and promote local business as is stated in the “Implementation Plan” of the Town Comprehensive Plan which recommends “Develop(ing) strategies to attract and nurture small businesses that serve residents in the Town Center District”

Why does this matter? This can set a precedent. The Town has an opportunity to earn a reputation for working with local businesses as opposed compounding their reputation for being unfriendly to businesses.

Call to action: Please write a letter to your Town Councilors
( urging them to dismiss this lawsuit. Let them know that you would prefer your tax dollars be spent on supporting local businesses rather than suing them.

Can more be done? 100 Percent. If you want to become more involved in the fight to save the Lumbery then please send an email to This Lumbery newsletter is received by 2500+ people. Alone, Lumbery cannot survive this lawsuit, but collectively we can make a difference. Even if you do not live in Cape, you can help.

And definitely pass this letter along to your friends, neighbors and anyone that is invested in supporting the Lumbery as well as supporting small business development in Cape Elizabeth Town Center and beyond.

Want to know more? Just ask. Our goal is to be transparent and honest throughout.


Page 4 of the Adopted Town Center Master Plan
The committee acknowledges that many of the properties in the Town Center are privately owned. As a result, the town must sometimes react to the decisions of private property owners, and cannot dictate the disposition of private property that otherwise complies with town regulations.

Mike Friedland and the entire Lumbery crew.


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