In less than one hour, the Cohasset Conservation Commission voted 4-0 to support the Selectmen’s Notice of Intent (NOI) for Cat Dam, with a three-year order of conditions. ConCom chairman David Farrag explained that after three years the ConCom could vote to extend the order for 3 or 5 years.
The results of the vote will now be sent to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where it is thought it will blessed, unless during the next 10 days an abutter or 10 citizens appeals the ConCom’s decision. When Cohasset Selectmen fired three members of the ConCom at their meeting last week, Cohasset citizenry caught on fire. Loosely formed groups have emerged who say they will:
- Petition the Selectmen
- Appeal the ConCom’s vote to the DEP.
- Sue the selectmen for interfering with the ConCom in its attempt to discharge its responsibility by removing 3 voting members from deliberating on the issue and attempting to stack the deck with proponents of the E-20.
The Wetlands Protection Act declares:
“The Conservation Commission, as a statutorily authorized regulatory body, has the responsibility to consider applications that come before it in a fair and equitable manner, in due compliance with the state Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. c. 131, § 40) and related regulations. The Board of Selectmen will not interfere with the Commission in its discharge of that responsibility.”
Did the selectmen interfere with the ConCom when it removed 3 voting members from Cat Dam deliberations? You bet they did.
ConCom members said the E-20 plan offered far more flushing than any other plan in recent years (150 days), albeit most of them occurring Dec. 1 through March, 21, 5 days partial and 32 trips. The four members voting yes on the NOI were Ed Graham, Vee Roebuck, Jack Creighton and ConCom chairman David Farrag. Now associate member Richard Karaff (recently demoted from commissioner to associate) was able to discuss the issue but not vote.
At the conclusion of the meeting Farrag, when asked if his board voted in favor of the E-20 because it felt threatened, said: “….(we) pulled the town from the precipice of peril.” Which means, the town cannot be sued for its vote in favor of the selectmen’s NOI; and at the same time an abutter and/or 10 citizens an appeal the ConCom’s decision to the DEP. Had ConCom voted no, E20 could have appealed its decision via Land Court – which has a very crowded docket – folk lore has it that appeals take years to be heard.
- What started the hysteria were comments the ConCom received from advisory boards on March 10, 2011. See comments on Cat Dam NOI on this blog
Cohasset CC Receives Comments on Cat Dam NOI
The ConCom’s next meeting will take place Thursday, August 4, at which time the board will reorganize and vote on who gets to be chairman. More fun and games.© Copyright 2011 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed