Holliston Mill Artists Open Studios Oct 25 & 26 10-4
Town Meeting next week - Monday, Oct. 27th
Holliston over Medfield 26 - 14
Sgt Denman is now Lt Denman

Grasshopper Lives Another Day

by Bobby Blair
November 16, 2012

Planning Board Hearing has all the suspense and drama of a court room trial ...

A hearing for a Jeffrey Ave business continued from a previous session was once again continued until Tuesday, November 27th at 8 p.m. Judge Judy has nothing on the theatrics which were being played out Thursday eve in the selectmen's room at town hall.

Setting the stage were no less than three lawyers, five Planning Board members, a civil engineer, several Lowland Street Industrial Park neighbors, the town's planner and town's building inspector. At question were Grasshopper Tree and Landscape Company's alledged violations of a special permit granted in 2005 to conduct business at 67 Jeffrey Avenue.

Grasshopper Landscape appears to be a victim of its own success. A complaint about the smell eminating from mulch pile(s) at Grasshopper has brought increased scrutiny by the parties involved to the local landscape business. While the odor from Grasshopper's mulch piles opened up the can of worms, the height of the piles have shot up red flags. Enter stage left the DEP (Department of Enviromental Protection) whose rules only allow piles to be 15' in height.

Above attorney Peter Barbieri representing Grasshopper Landscape points out corrective measures taken at the Jeffrey Avenue site since the last Planning Board meeting. Grasshopper owner Jedd Barclay in the checkered shirt looks on. The hearing took a twist when Planning Board member Geoffrey Zeamer recused himself and took a seat in the audience. Zeamer is in the midst of developing a site on Lowland Street for his business which abutts that of Grasshopper Landscape.

Planning Board Chairman Parashar Patel pressed Attorney Barbieri that Grasshopper had in fact violated its 2005 special permit. Being less than vague in his answer, Barbieri all but admitted that violations had occured. Joyce Hastings from GLM Engineering then took the floor to elaborate on the corrective measures being taken by Grasshopper Landscape including a new fence and retaining wall which abutts neighbor Cold Chain Technologies.

Hastings' presentation brought to the floor Attorney Scott Fenton (2rd from left above) of the Law Firm of Bowditch & Dewey representing Cold Chain Technologies. Owner Larry Gordon of Cold Chain sits to Fenton's left. Gordon told the board that his employees at times are unable to eat lunch outside his building due to the fumes from Grasshopper's mulch piles. In addition Gordon said his windows and loading dock doors must be closed not only to protect employees but his products which are used in the packaging of pharmaceuticals, biotech, and transplant industries. Attorney Fenton challenged the Planning Board to not set a precedent by allowing the 2005 special permit violations to go unchecked. Fenton was also persistent that Grasshopper had done nothing to alleviate an erosion problem at Grasshopper property line with Cold Chain.

The above photo supplied by Attorney Fenton to Planning Board members shows an eroding hillside with Cold Chain Technogies pictured at the top of the photo.

GLM Engineering proposed cutting trees at the top of this hillside and placing an 8' fence with fabric along the property line. Geoffrey Zeamer, Planning Board member who was now sitting in the audience, requested that the board also include his property line for a new fence. Zeamer also objected to Grasshopper's plans to chip wood and limbs due to emissions especially if it rained. While Grasshopper has lowered its mulch piles in compliance with DEP Regulations, it is still looking to increase the number of metal containers on site from the allowed 2005 limit of 10 to its present 17. Allowed parking spaces will be another determination the Planning Board will decide when the hearing reconvenes on November 27th.

 

Posted in Politics, Green, Neighborhood.

E-mail This Article

Comments (2)

Topnotch news item, Reporter Blair! Its tongue-in-cheek wit sets the tone of a small town drama. Suggested title: "Three Stooges against Mother Nature". Advance Publicity: It's tragedy masked as comedy about neighbors building fences ( Robert Frost ), paving Paradises ( Joni Mitchell) removing trees ( Frederick Law Olmstead). Suggested denouement: Mulch piles will not exceed the height and length of dominant grasshopper's broad-jump and the lunch venue will be moved to Pejamajos. Send in the Clowns!( Stephen Sondheim)

- nan karis | 11/25/12 7:32 AM

I really do appreciate that you were there to document what we try to do to serve the needs of the residents and property owners of Holliston.

- Warren Chamberlain | 11/17/12 4:46 PM

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Bobby Blair:

Recent Real Estate Sales

Continue ...

Brooksmont Barn May Have Second Life

Continue ...

Boss Hog Makes Escape on Saturday Night

[Comments:1]

Continue ...

Agricultural Commission to Plant Cranberries this Sunday

Continue ...

Invites Mailed for Veterans' Dinner

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Politics:

Board of Selectmen Meets - October 22

by Nancy Farrell

It was a packed agenda and packed room for the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Wednesday night. The new Department of Public Works Director Sean Reese gave a report on his first six weeks. The Board solicited public comment about traffic lights downtown, and Howard Hager came to talk about saving the Town money, lots of it, by replacing light bulbs.

[Comments:2]

Continue ...

Downtown Traffic Management

by Mary Greendale

The current management design would provide lights for safer crossings for pedestrians and allow people exiting Central and Hollis Streets to have a fair shot. The street widening, four lanes and narrower sidewalk in the design are NOT consistent with the Vision. As seen in the window of Fiske's General Store. There would also be a third traffic light at Hollis.

[Comments:14]

Continue ...

Where’s the money?

by William Dowd

Note: The author is a member of the Holliston Finance Committee. The opinions expressed here are his alone and should in no way be attributed to the Finance Committee.

[Comments:1]

Continue ...

Holliston Trails Committee Awarded Grant

by Press Release

Representative Carolyn Dykema and Senator Karen Spilka are proud to announce the Holliston Trails Committee was awarded a $50,000 grant under the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Recreational Trails Program at a special ceremony Friday morning, October 17, 2014. This funding will be used to improve the Holliston section of the Upper Charles Rail Trail by connecting completed sections of the Holliston Trail to the Milford section.

[Comments:1]

Continue ...

Agricultural Commission to Plant Cranberries this Sunday

by Bobby Blair

Continue ...

Advertisement