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Notice Of Violation Expected For Market Street Tree Removal

State said to be preparing Notice of Violation for National Development regarding tree removal in right of way.

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 .

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.”

Wallace McKenzie June 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Dorothy, Some of the credit for the tree issue should go to the town administrator Bill Gustus. He sent the town engineer out to look at the 300+ feet of trees that were taken down and told Joe DeMaina and me that some were on state land. Joe and I were very surprised and asked if the town could get a copy of the permit and what the process was, but he and Chairman MacKendrick told us that they were not going to get involved. Joe and I followed up several times over the next few weeks to try and find out what the process was and then MA Highway determined that no permit existed. We will be following up over the next few weeks and will keep people up to date at www.topics01940.org
Frank June 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Maybe they needed the trees to build the bowling lanes at Kings...
Greg Liacos June 26, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Does anyone else think the new lane markings on Walnut going towards Saugus are bad? There are now 4 lanes total, 1 each for left & right and 2 for going straight. After the lights there is an immediate shrink down to one lane on the other side. I have already been nearly clipped 3 times in a needless merge. Seems like common sense that an intersection should be designed for safety and not chaos.
William Laforme June 28, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Hello Greg, I'm planning on Friday to run a poll asking residents what they think of the new traffic formation. The lights are expected to be working on Thursday.
Don June 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Hate to say folks, but it is too late to stop it now. These violations are minor compared to the zeal/greed of the people building this monstrous project. Yes, there will be a Liberty Tree, NorthShore and/or Burlington Mall type right there where the Colonial used to be. Will they violate the building code, sure. The project should have been stopped, but now it is too late. I wonder about who is doing the engineering work and who is looking at the money. Just look next door to Saugus, who is about to go into State receivership because of the dishonesty of the town officials. I have raised an issue of the town spending $500K to do an engineering study on the rail trails, where plans already exist that can be reused. That alone shows that our engineering department is very capable of producing a "Big dig" here in Lynnfield. Wasting money and not spending it where it should be applied.

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