Last month, a group of town residents went before the Lynnfield selectmen to express their dismay at the removal of trees on a small portion of the Market Street at Lynnfield site near Route 128.
At the time, town resident Wallace McKenzie pressed selectmen to get specific answers from the developers, National Development, about what would be done to replace the trees in question, how long this response would take, and how it happened. By the time of that meeting in late May, the town DPW had already determined that some of the trees removed were in a state right of way area.
A full account of that previous selectmen’s meeting can be viewed here.
Since then, McKenzie has brought the attention to the state and announced on his Topics01940 website that National Development was apparently lacking the required state permits for removing the trees. Previously, National Development has noted on its construction website and before town boards that a plan is in place to establish a considerable number of trees and other vegetation along an upcoming berm on Walnut Street. At the previously mentioned selectmen’s meeting, it was noted that one possibility could be for some of the vegetation to start going up on the site late in 2012 as opposed to the initially planned early 2013.
On Wednesday, McKenzie received an email from a staff member for State Senator Katherine Clark reporting that the state Department of Transportation, working with the General Counsel’s Office, had finalized a Notice of Violation to be sent to the Market Street developer. From there, the developers would meet with the state to negotiate an acceptable resolution, after which the company could get input from the town on a restoration plan that would presumably be proposed.
On a side note, Clark’s staff member also indicated in the email that on Friday, pavement markings will be done that should set the stage for the state to then activate the long-awaited new traffic lights in front of the Market Street site.
Earlier in the week, Town Administrator Bill Gustus told Lynnfield Patch that National Development had told him there was a permit for the removal of the trees in question. However, he also emphasized that the current matter is essentially between National Development and the state. The company did not return a call seeking comment.
“Whether they had specific authority to do what they did, I don’t know, that’s a matter for the state to take up with National Development,” said Gustus. “We’ll be monitoring it and we’re aware of what the concerns of the residents are.”