Join Us In Protecting Spy Pond
Organized by: Daniel Klebanov
We Did It! At the Oct 20 meeting, the Con Comm made a strong decision, ruling unanimously against the proposed development at 47 Spy Pond Lane. This decision sets a powerful precedent to protect Spy Pond, Mystic Lake, and other sensitive wetlands in Arlington, by limiting over-development on adjacent property.
Since mid-June, our small group of neighbors have invested their time and energy into this project in a variety of ways [timeline]:
- Creating the change.org petition and gathering 500+ signatures
- Reaching out to leaders within our community to spread awareness of the larger issues.
- Hiring an attorney on the advice of respected and experienced community leaders.
- Reviewing the developer’s plans and highlighting key points to our attorney to make optimal use of her time.
- Providing research and evidence to the Con Comm on local wildlife, which the Con Comm used to dismiss the developer’s claims about the project’s minimal impact on wildlife.
- Checking the developer’s engineering calculations for water run-off and obtaining site plans from the town engineer to assess reasonable alternatives.
- Communicating with neighbors and community members who were interested to learn more.
- Attending meetings, taking notes, and providing updates to the community.
Our attorney, Elizabeth Pyle, played an important role in crafting the legal framework used by the Con Comm to back up their decision. The chairman of the Con Comm mentioned her arguments several times during final deliberation. Her careful analysis of the regulations helped to establish that the primary burden on the developer is to prove the absence of reasonable alternatives, such as a single home or two smaller houses. Furthermore, she helped to contradict the developer's claims of financial hardship, arguing that the hardship is entirely self-imposed. Finally, she found and presented past cases to back up her arguments.
This article has video footage of both our attorney and the developer's attorney arguing their cases before the Con Comm at the October 6th final public hearing. http://arlington.wickedlocal.com/news/20161007/spy-pond-developer-makes-final-plea
To pay for the attorney, we have collected a number of donations from concerned citizens and neighbors around Arlington who treasure Spy Pond. We are still looking to close the gap to pay the remaining bills. If you haven't already contributed, please consider supporting this good cause.
Over the course of three months, the attorney counted a total of 26 hours on our case. This includes time spent researching regulations and case law, reviewing the developer's plans, writing formal letters to the Con Comm, preparing for and attending the hearings, and corresponding with the Con Comm.
- The total bill is $5200
- From our group of abutters, we raised approximately $2000
- From other members of the public, we raised another approximately $2000
- We would like to close the gap of $1250