Home » Still Meadow hearing delayed for a month

Still Meadow hearing delayed for a month

SHARON — The Inland Wetlands Commission’s public hearing on July 14, regarding the application submitted by Dr. Joel Danisi, did not go as some had anticipated.

The hearing was requested by a group of concerned neighbors and conservationists who wanted a chance to voice their opinions and ask questions about an application submitted by Danisi for work on his 55 Still Meadow Road property.

Danisi is requesting permits to build two swales to direct water from two town culverts to the rear of his property. He would also like to build a boardwalk from his house to a pond at the back of the property.

The posts for the boardwalk would be locust wood and would be placed in the ground approximately 10 feet apart. The pine-wood posts would rise to 1 foot above the ground.

A group has formed, called the Friends of the Still Meadow. They have raised questions and concerns about several phases of work being done on the Danisi property, which is a calcareous wetland. Such wetlands are often home to rare plants and animals.

Danisi contends that his swales will not impact the health of the wetlands. He is trying to maintain a low level of water so his three horses can graze there.

Members of the Friends of the Still Meadow include Janet and Sal Accar-do, Laurie Dunham, Francoise Kelz, Lyn and Robert Mattoon and Kiyoko and Alan Tucker. Larry Power of the Sharon Land Trust has been working with the group as well.The Land Trust had tried, but failed, to buy the property several years ago, before it was purchased by Danisi.

The Friends group submitted a petition prior to the last Inland Wetlands meeting on June 9, requesting a public hearing to address their concerns about Danisi’s application.

Several members of the group, as well as other town residents, attended Monday’s public hearing.

The meeting began promptly at 7 p.m. with the reading of the warning by the commission’s acting chair, Michael Dudek, who was filling in that evening for Chairman Ed Kirby. Also at the meeting was Town Attorney Judith Dixon.

Attorney Dixon asked the commission to continue the public hearing for the Danisi application to the next meeting, on Monday, Aug. 11.

Dixon said several members of the Inland Wetlands Commission had received an e-mail from the Sharon Land Trust, which made a strong case for asking the commission to deny the application.

Power, who is head of the Land Trust, explained that the e-mail had been sent to the 350 members of the Land Trust, about one-third of the town’s population.

"Part of the mission of the Sharon Land Trust is to preserve and protect lands of agricultural value," he explained in a follow-up interview with The Journal Tuesday. "We want to inform residents when there are threats to the environment in Sharon."

Power also said in the interview that several members of the Inland Wetlands Commission had received the e-mail.

Dixon said Monday at the hearing that she wanted to be able to speak to everyone on the commission and since the entire group was not there, she did not think it was proper to continue with the hearing.

She also explained that she had contacted Danisi and Friends of the Still Meadow’s attorney, Peter Olsen, about postponing the public hearing to next month. She said that neither Olsen nor Danisi had objected to the request to "continue" the hearing.

One member of the Friends, Sal Accardo, was angered by the decision to continue, and asked why they were switching the date and what exactly was happening.

"Civility at this meeting is important to all of us," Dixon said. "No one is making comments about the application this evening."

When he continued to disagree with the decision, Dixon and other members of the commission suggested he send his concerns to the commission in a letter.

"When did you receive a copy of this letter from the Sharon Land Trust?" he asked.

Dixon explained she had only received the letter about five minutes prior to that night’s hearing.

Accardo and Dixon continued to speak on this topic until Dudek called an end to the discussion and moved on to the next item on the agenda.

The next Inland Wetlands Commission meeting and the public hearing regarding the Danisi application will be Monday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m.

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