What Really Hurts About Surfside Crossing's Clear-Cutting

Meghan Perry •

To the Editor,

What hurts the most from the destructive events of last weekend at the site of developers Jamie Feeley and Josh Posner’s proposed Surfside Crossing development is that it was completely preventable.

The Conservations Permit for Surfside Crossing was sent out for distributions on Wednesday August 31, 2022 at 2:12 pm to both the developer Jamie Feely, their environmental consultant Brian Madden and THREE Town of Nantucket departments from Emily Holt, Endangered Species Review Assistant, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

The permit was sent to the general email box for:

Planning and Land Use Services & the Conservation Commission

Additionally it was sent to the direct emails of Leslie Snell (staff for Zoning Board Appeals, zoning enforcement officer, and Deputy Director of Planning) Erika Mooney (staff for Select Board and Operations Administrator for Town administration) and Jeff Carlson (staff for Con Com and Natural Resources Director).

In speaking to board members and commissioners of these various boards it has become apparent that the permit was not brought to their attention. Rather staff let the appeal period expire without notifying.

As a community, we were deprived of our ability and right to appeal.

The ZBA/Select Board is currently in litigation and to appeal could support their positions. By the lack of actions this avenue was not available. Was there any discussion at the staff level about not sending this along to the boards or town counsel ? Why was the simple act of hitting forward to an email not done?

The project brought 800+ people to a meeting in opposition. The elected officials- Select Board and Planning Board were deprived of any opportunity to support their constituents.

This was not a limited permit. It is a permit with many far reaching consequences. In reading the 15 General Conditions of the permit and the 10 Special Conditions of the permit one can see that.

Something to take notice:

There was a 21 day appeal period for ANYONE aggrieved by this permit from date of issuance to appeal. That means I could have appealed it individually, that the town could have appealed it, Land Council could have, based on what the permit allows for almost anybody off the street could have appealed it because it is so egregious! However without being notified by those who received it and should have made it public those rights were unknowingly taken away from me and the community. This is inexcusable.

“This Permit is a final decision of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife pursuant to 321 CMR 10.23. Any person aggrieved by this decision shall have the right to an adjudicators hearing at the Division pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, s.11 in accordance with the procedures for informal hearings set forth in 801 CMR 1.02 and 1.03.

Any notice of claim for an adjudicatory hearing shall be made in writing and be accompanied by a filing fee in the amount of $500.00. The notice of claim shall be sent to the Division by certified mail, hand delivered or postmarked within twenty-one (21) days of the date of issuance of this Permit”

Please pay close attention to the conditions of this permit. “Open Space” will consist of 2.08 acres- basically a 20 foot buffer on the South Shore Road property line and 10 foot buffer on the three other sides. That is it.

$641,796 had been allocated to Natural Heritage to mitigate 11.5 acres of disturbed land. You cannot find 11.5 acres of land on Nantucket for $641,796 never mind undisturbed So those funds will be sent off island.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not!”-Lorax


Meghan Perry

Nantucket Tipping Point board member

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