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Alewife 2007 Civil Action Law Suit Filed in Behalf of Silver Maple Forest by Attorney Thomas B. Bracken
Major Environmental Suit in New England Filed in Behalf of Forest and Watershed Protection
March 7, 2007
Full text of the law suit [file requires Flash]
For Immediate Release
To Boston Globe North West Weekly
A Civil Action: Mass Environmental Citizen Suit has been filed on March 7th by Thomas B. Bracken, Boston Environmental attorney, in Middlesex Superior Court, and delivered to Belmont Town Clerk, in behalf of fifteen Belmont citizens of Little Pond's Winn Brook neighborhood, Hill Estates, The Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands and Winn Brook Neighborhood, and Friends of Alewife Reservation Inc.
The citizen plaintiffs of the Winn Brook neighborhood and The Hill Estates will be impacted if residential units are constructed by removing the Belmont Uplands silver maple forest which comprises over four of the seven and a half acres of O'Neill Properties' planned project site. The Suit charges the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals and Cambridge Partners II LLC of exceeding their permitting authority by granting Mr. O'Neill a permit on an inappropriate site for a large housing development. The Plaintiffs make their appeal under provisions of General Laws, chapter 40A which grants the proponents a comprehensive permit under Massachusetts G.L. chapter 40B.
The Plaintiffs in the Law Suit "seek to prevent damage from occurring to the environment including destruction of and or damage to natural resources of the Commonwealth and open spaces, pollution of rivers and ponds, flood plains and wetlands, and proper sewage disposal and excessive noise." The Plaintiffs are basing their law suit on the Belmont Zoning Board's renderings in advance of their conditions in the permit which acknowledges adverse effects on health, safety, natural environment, open space, traffic, noise, climate and nighttime light. The Town Board has concluded that the project is larger and more dense than appropriate for the Belmont Uplands area. The contents of the Civil Action were developed over a period of six years of official evidence from Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and state agencies, professional environmental research, individual scientific testimony to the Belmont Conservation Commission, and from citizen groups and environmental organizations throughout the region and the state.