Tuesday, June 4, 2013

South East Street Shuffle

 650 South East Street, Rock Farm

It did not take Greenfield Savings Bank long to do their due diligence on the property located at 650 West Street.  I had expressed concern about three 55-gallon rusty oil drums right before the town bought it last week.  I guess a $500,000 deal stimulates clean up motivation -- especially for a bank.

The town purchased the property using $60,000 in Community Preservation Act money, private funds from helpful  neighbors, and flipping two building lots for $132,000 each.  Of course the town cannot cut the bank a check until July 1st, start of the new fiscal year.

The clean up crew from Environ International Corporation will be done by the end of the week. A senior associate said two of the drums were empty and the one with some content still in it was specially packed for removal and the contents will be analyzed.   As will soil around the other two empty drums.

But he was optimistic at this stage contamination was not a concern.

666 South East Street, trees with notices are marked for extinction

Meanwhile right next door another environmental action was playing out, as the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee met to discuss the clearing of trees by a homeowner for a new, safer driveway.  The committee could not muster a quorum, so no vote was taken. 

The Shade Tree Committee only advises Tree Warden Alan Snow; he has the semi-final authority with removal of trees in the public way, which extends roughly 30 feet from a public road onto private property.

The Amherst Select Board would have the final say if an appeal is made of the Tree Warden's decision. 

The costs to the homeowners, Christopher Benfey and Mickey Rathbun, with such a large grove of trees using an inch-per-inch replacement calculation could total as high as $12,000.

The Amherst Planning Board and Tree Warden have a joint meeting tomorrow tonight in Town Hall to discuss the removals.


tom721 said...

Larry, I don't understand how anyone can fail to see the existing safety hazard at 666 Southeast St.
For some reason, Two crashes a year is not enough to trigger action by the town.
In the absence of such action, The homeowner, who is someone who cares enough about trees to pay for pruning of a public tree, wishes to increase his narrow margin of safety, (and that of whatever driver might suddenly round his corner), by moving the intersection of his driveway further away from the blind curve.
I think the town should make every effort to comply with the homeowners' wishes, and limit their own liability for failing to do so.

Anonymous said...

Larry, didn't you almost get him by Mr. Snow's wife while you were pulling into this driveway? Mr. Snow and several shade tree committee members were standing there. This spot of road and the driveway are frightening to the neighbors. Time to act before someone is badly injured.

Janet McGowan

Anonymous said...

Larry, why don't you mind your own business? Posting people's names when they have some homeowner-related work to be done is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the existing driveway is in a terribly unsafe spot along a fast road, but moving it north would make it even less safe. The existing driveway is at the crest of the hill and it has the benefit of a mirror across the street, which provides a means to see cars coming from the south. Moving the driveway north would remove these advantages. The result would be the loss of 10 healthy mature public shade trees and an even less safe situation.