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Sunday, March 27, 2011
Proposed boardwalk project may be over before it gets started
Guest article by Carl Johansen
We need to have an objective discussion around the proposed boardwalk, Brady's Island, and the abutting marsh in the Town of Sandwich. I will not go into the rationale of the community preservation committee providing some $49,000 of taxpayers' money for a study.
The following information was obtained by researching the historical documents at our town library. A copy of this information has been given to the town manager to be copied and given to each member of the board of selectman for evaluation.
Charles Brady, in 1959, sold his property to Joseph and Helen Bazzinoti.
The Bazzinotis conveyed the island and marsh to the Town of Sandwich in 1967. The town, along with state funding, purchased another parcel of land just to the west and these two constitute the present Brady's Island Conservation Area.
The conveyance assured that this property would remain in its natural state, as I understand the agreement between the state and the Bazzinottis under the Conservation Restriction Act (MGL chapter 184, sections 31 and 32). Purchased by the Conservation Commission in 1967 with state money, it also is protected under the Wetlands Act, by the Massachusetts Historical Society, by the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, and by the Army Corps of Engineers.
I will post only a part of section 31 that relates to Brady's Island and Marsh:
"No structure can go on or above the ground."
Unless the owner places a limitation on its operation as part of a restriction, this property cannot be used for economic benefit, only for conservation use.
A conservation restriction runs with the land and is binding upon subsequent owners of the real estate. A conservation restriction is valid and enforceable in perpetuity.
Brady's Island and Marsh as it stands now has been given three uses:
Hiking is not listed as a use of this property.
This property includes 6 acres of marsh and 2.9 acres of upland, give or take.
Brady's Island is in a flood zone.
Given the environmental protection granted in perpetuity and all of the potential roadblocks, not to mention clearing the Cape Cod Commission, I ask: How much will it cost to get a permit? Or, more likely, how much will it cost to be denied a permit?
In my opinion, this process has failed before it has even begun just by the nature of all the levels of protection granted under the law to keep Brady's Island and Marsh in its natural state.
What say you, all citizens of Sandwich?
A concerned citizen of Sandwich
Categories: Guest Articles