Apr 25, 2022

West Newbury, Massachusetts, Condo Project to Address Storm Water Issues

As a next step, the Commissioners will review a stabilization plan for all disturbed areas

storm water

A condominium development on Main Street in Massachusetts has been experiencing continued problems with storm water runoff causing erosion and sediment issues. 

Town officials halted work at the site, reported The Daily News of Newburyport, and a hearing to resolve the issue has been postponed.

According to town officials, the installation of three side-by-side duplex condominiums at 87 Main St. impacted a slope at the back of the property, reported The Daily News of Newburyport. 

Although two of the three duplex units sold, work on the final unit is now on pause beecause of the issues with storm water runoff from Lot 3 impacting the other lots. on and off the site. Runoff was flowing onto the other properties without a legal easement in place to permit it.

A public hearing to review proposed drainage and storm water management systems designed for Lot 3 was postponed because the applicant failed to properly notify abutters and because the plans designed to address the problem had yet to be submitted to the Conservation Commission. 

Manager Robert Johnson of Eighty Seven West LLC, and of the 85-87 Main Street Condominium Association, is listed as the applicant seeking to amend the Final Order of Conditions issued by the Conservation Commission, reported The Daily News of Newburyport.

The Commission placed an Enforcement Order on the property with five conditions that Johnson must meet before construction work could resume, and as of Apr. 5 the developer was non-compliant. This resulted in a cease and desist of site work activities which will remain in place until the erosion and sedimentation problems are resolved. 

The order also requires a consultation with a professional wetlands scientist before removing silt from the property’s wetlands, as well as approval about the wetlands from the owner of the property on land across the street.

As a next step, the Commissioners will review a stabilization plan for all disturbed areas, reported The Daily News of Newburyport.

The developer is required to work with a professional engineer to create a drainage plan for Lot 3. 

“To some extent, the developer has addressed each of the demands listed,” said Conservation Agent Michelle Greene, reported The Daily News of Newburyport. “However, some plans that have been received seem to show inaccuracies to what has been built at the site to date; there are questions if the proposed drainage structures are adequate for the volume of water they may receive; and the site has not yet achieved stabilization.”

Health Agent Paul Sevigny confirmed his board approved a septic plan for Lot 3.

Anyone seeking more information should contact Greene at 978-363-1100, ext. 126, or by email: conservation@wnewbury.org.

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