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Town indicates it can’t stop tree cutting off Kimball Road

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Business, Featured: News, News

Residents of the Springwood neighborhood might not be too excited about the tree cutting underway off Kimball Road, but the town announced Monday that it cannot stop it.

“We are mindful of the concerns outlined by abutters regarding the ongoing tree cutting work at a property off of Kimball Road,” reads a statement attributed to Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Conservation Administrator Kimberly Ciaramicoli, Principal Planner John Gelcich and Conservation Commission Chair Jeff Barnes. “Under state law, this work is permitted and regulated solely by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

“We are in contact with DCR regarding this work, who have assured us this work is being done in accordance with the permit. We urge anyone with concerns about the ongoing tree-cutting work to contact DCR Forestry directly.”

In June 2021, a representative from Equestrian Realty appeared before the Planning Board to discuss two properties on the eastern side of Springwood. Plans were presented for two subdivisions, but the representative, Matt Cote, acknowledged the future goal actually was for a solar farm. The subdivision plans were a legal maneuver to lock in the properties to the current zoning rules, which would permit solar. However, less than two months later, the proposal was withdrawn.

A Springwood resident indicated that abutters were not contacted before the tree cutting began, and it’s not clear if the plans again are for solar.

“Any future development that occurs on this site will be done in accordance with Town of Hopkinton bylaws and regulations, and the town is committed to enforcing its regulations on any work done under its jurisdiction,” the town stated in Monday’s announcement. “The Conservation Commission strives to protect and enhance the community’s wetlands, buffer zones, drinking water, natural resources, open space and wildlife habitat, as well as imposing low impact and environmentally sustainable practices for new development, under its jurisdiction in town. The commission will expect all forest cutting activities to be conducted in accordance with applicable regulations.”

1 Comment

  1. James mahoney

    It looks to me that the proponents behind the future home of the 60 acre solar farm knew exactly what they were and are doing in reguards to bypassing the regular channels by lying (to the town agencies involved) as to their intended purpose of a solar farm by calling it a ‘subdivision ” and after securing “permission from a state agency were successful in bypassing town laws. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? (sorry for yelling?), however it just frustrates me when money can bypass the laws let alone them having gotten away with it.

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