Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Little Inadvertent Damage

Intermittent stream stabilization work performed on Friday at the proposed site of The Retreat

Landmark Properties will appear before the Amherst Conservation Commission on Wednesday to explain the minor damage that occurred near sensitive wetlands on the expansive property they are currently prepping for a major student housing development, The Retreat.

At the contentious May 29 Conservation Commission meeting, a room full of unfriendly neighbors took pot shots at the proposed development by way of environmental concerns.  They even questioned the work ethic of some of the environmental consultants hired by Landmark.

 ConCom hearing 5/29/14

So after the meeting, two of the experts who did the environmental investigation went back out to the site packing a GPS system to double check their previous field work.  They discovered recent damage that was not present on their original walk about last Fall.

Apparently a sub-contractor performing a geotechnical investigation got a little to close to a couple of streams with heavy duty drilling machinery.

 Logging roads wind their way through the extensive woodlands crossing streams

To their credit, Landmark Properties immediately "self reported" the unfortunate incident to wetlands administrator Beth Wilson.  She passed it along to the Conservation Commission, who then issued an "Enforcement Order" to come before them to explain how the incident occurred and plans for restoration of the damaged area, which Landmark Properties is anxious to share.

And yes, they have already enacted safeguards to ensure the problem does not reoccur.

Not exactly a "babbling brook," but an intermittent stream nevertheless


Dr. Ed said...

Is anyone going to give Landmark credit for doing the right thing?

As I understand it, it was their investigation, which was solely at their initiative that found this -- people on their payroll chose to do this and that is the only reason why anyone knows about it.

Larry, I make a distinction between "self reporting" and going out to LOOK FOR things that you maybe did wrong -- and look at how they inevitably will be treated by the lynch mob.

Let's compare this to Planet UMass that (amongst other things) dumped lead paint chips all over the lawn and sprayed a toxic chemical in the face of a sleeping pregnant woman. That was in the summer of 2009 and no, UMass wasn't anywhere as noble as Landmark is here.

Folks, if the "big, evil corporation" is treated like shit even though they went way out of their way to do the right thing, they aren't going to keep doing that....

Instead of an "Enforcement Order", I think the Conservation Commission ought to write Landmark a "Commendation" which explicitly includes an approval of their abatement -- which probably was decided upon in consultation with the town anyway.

Anonymous said...

If you believe your last sentence, I have a bridge to sell you.

Anonymous said...

If you believe your last sentence, I have a bridge to sell you.

No wonder you're losing your shirts said...

"a room full of unfriendly neighbors"

The incredible irony is most'a these chimps have themselves made trips to India to bathe in the most polluted river on the planet.

And to this day call the



(as if they know what that means).

Com'on grammy n grampy,

have a heart

attack already

will ya?


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...


You devote a lot of space here to party house noise violations and DUI arrests. This violation of state and federal wetlands laws is every bit as serious - maybe not as potentially-immediately-deadly as DUI, but in the long run, the destruction of these small stream is far more lethal - and to humans too.

- A person who doesn't oppose the Retreat

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, that's almost believable. Almost.

Anonymous said...

The retreat will be a disaster for anyone who owns a home nearby. The article in the Hampshire Gazette proves it. The tax money collected for the town from the retreat won't cover the costs of our police department needs for keeping the peace in that part of town.

Larry Kelley said...

Makes me wonder if we read the same Gazette article.

You must be wearing a NIMBY lens.

Anonymous said...

The Plum Brook soccer fields
The HAP housing project in SAmherst
Strawberry Fields
The parking garage

Now, Kendrick Place and The Retreat

All accompanied by prophecies of doom

Blah, blah, blah

Larry Kelley said...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

Man, NIMBYs are going to have a field day with this. Landmark better watch their steps very closely from now on.

Dr. Ed said...

I say again -- they went way out of their way to do the "right" thing here and if you don't give them credit for that, don't expect them to ever do it again...

Anonymous said...

Ed, do you have reading comprehension difficulties on top of all your other thinking and communicating deficits? What part of "To their credit, Landmark Properties..." do you not understand?

Or is repeating yourself ("I say again") some kind of Asperger's tic?

Dr. Ed said...

There is a big difference between merely reporting something you know and going out and looking for it. Landmark didn't know this happened, nor did they have any obligation to go look, and if they hadn't -- who would have known?