Summary of Legal Proceedings
2007 – The Belmont Conservation Commission finds adverse impact flooding in an already flood-prone area and the failure of stormwater management systems to meet 3 State standards.
2008 – The developer appeals to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Coalition joins them as interveners. After changing some of the plans, DEP decides for the developer, but an adjudicatory review is requested.
2010 - Decision from the adjudicatory DEP review issued in favor of developer. The developer's lawyers and the department file a motion instructing the judge on how to edit the errors in her decision.
2011 - Hearing held in Middlesex Superior Court appealing the DEP's decision where the Plaintiffs cited unlawful procedures and errors of law. Superior Court denies Plaintiff's claims but remands a claim of the Belmont Conservation Commission.
2012 - Coalition Appeals to the MA Appeals Court.
DEP returns a new decision on the Conservation Commission's remanded issue.
Coalition and Commission file motions in Superior Court to object to the new decision. Conservation Commission files motion to introduce new evidence not known at the time of the DEP proceedings.
What could happen next?
1. If a building permit is issued before the Superior Court decision, then the Coalition is prepared to file an injunction to prevent any irreversible harm to the forest.
The Coalition was involved in all these proceedings as “interveners.” They brought forth additional charges that the development violated the State's Wetlands Protection Act.
The Coalition and the Belmont Conservation Commission have appealed the DEP's decision and await a Spring 2011 court date.
The issues for the appeal to Superior Court filed by each organization are as follows:
A) The Coalition's Case involves the fact that the development encroaches into the 10-year and 100-year floodplain. The State Wetlands Protection Act sets certain standards for wildlife habitat replication of encroached areas that were not met by the Developer's plans:
B) The Belmont Conservation Commission's Case involves the DEP's failure to:
Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands