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Ceppi must stop, commission says

SALISBURY — The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously rejected Aleardo Ceppi’s natural resource removal permit application Tuesday, Feb. 24.

The commission’s findings, listed in full below, put an end — for now — to Ceppi’s plan to build a road to property he owns on Bird Peak.

Ceppi began blasting the access road to his property near the turnaround at the end of Indian Orchard Road in Lakeville in September 2007, with the requisite town permits. He said at an October public hearing he believed he did not need a natural resource removal permit at all since his blasting permits were granted.

Neighbors, disturbed by the blasting, immediately objected; the public hearing was concluded Jan. 6 after three hours of presentations.

The immediate issue was the application for a natural resource removal permit — that is, the debris created by the blasting thus far.

Opponents, including nearby property owners, feared the proposed access road was merely the precursor to development.

What happens to the existing debris is not yet clear, according to Planning and Zoning Administrator Nancy Brusie.

The commission wrote:

1. Approving the activities requested in this natural resource removal application will result in sharp declivities, pits or depressions, soil erosion problems, and the slopes or banks will exceed 1 foot vertical rise to 2 feet of horizontal distance.

2. The proposed activity is reasonably likely to significantly impair the value of the adjacent landowners’ properties, creating adverse effects on their property values and the appearance of the neighborhood, taking into account the topography of the lot.

3. The excavation that has already taken place and the proposed continued excavation lie within 100 feet of the street line and less than 50 feet of the lot/property line. The proposed disposition lies within 50 feet of the lot/property line.

4. The site plan is not in harmony with the neighborhood, does not accomplish a transition in character between areas of unlike character, does not protect property values and does not peserve or enhance the appearance and beauty of the community.

5. Additional truck traffic and blasting required by this application will be detrimental to the character of the zone and the neighborhood and potentially hazardous.

6. The site plan is not in conformity with the purpose or intent of the Town Plan of Conservation and Development adopted by the commission effective Jan. 1, 1999.

7. Approval of this special permit would have an adverse impact on significant features of the sensitive natural environment and would not be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the zoning regulations of the town of Salisbury.

The commissioners also said they believe the site work is “likely to have the effect of unreasonably polluting or impairing the public trust in the natural resources of the area.”

Curtailing these activities on the property, they said, will not keep the property owner from enjoying the land because  “there are feasible and prudent alternatives consistent with the reasonable requirements of the public health, safety and welfare that allow reasonably use of the property.”

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