In 1965 Charles Wills built a beautiful center entrance classic colonial at 15 Apple Hill Lane. A family with three young boys bought the house, but when one of the boys almost drowned in a natural pond in the back yard, they sold the house to George and Lee Sausele who had three older girls.
The Sausele family kept the home and back acres in beautiful condition. They cared for the trees, the ferns, the streams, the ponds, and the wildflowers in the back wetlands. When Mrs. Sausele turned 92 in 2015 she went to assisted living and sold her home. She checked several times before selling that the back 2 ½ acres were not buildable.. Her lawyer said “unbuildable,” her realtor said “unbuildable,” the Lynnfield Zoning map said “unbuildable,” the Lynnfield Assessor’s map said “unbuildable,” and the Sausele’s had been taxed for fifty years on the 2 ½ acres as “class 132 – unbuildable.”
Now comes builder/developer Tammaro who tells Mrs. Sausele he wants to live in her home and enjoy the beauty of the back 2 ½ acres. At 92 she believes him. The house is sold and as all sold houses in Lynnfield, it passes inspection (septic, no rot, no mold.)
Two things happen next. Neighbors and abutters see about 100 truckloads with 22 cubic yards each dump debris on the property raising the back and side topography of the land about 20 feet. Several of them call the Conservation Commission which is unavailable. The Selectmen also say they cannot help. More piles of debris are dumped on top of the land. All without any permit from the town.
Neighbors and abutters become alarmed when heavy construction equipment is being driven over the gas pipeline easement on the right side of the property. They call Kinder Morgan, the Gas Company and are told that the 24 inch high pressure gas line is only 2 ½ feet below the surface. “If it goes, you should be in Saugus.” After many visits to the site by the Gas Company, Kinder Morgan erects a 30 foot wide “no trespass zone” along the entire gas line. When asked about his problems with the Gas Company at the December 16, 2015 Lynnfield Planning Board Meeting, Tammaro replies, “I have had no issues with Kinder Morgan.”
At this same time all windows in the house are left open in the rain. In Apple Hill you need 180 feet frontage on a town road for your house. If you want to make the driveway into a road to get to the back 2 ½ acres you need 40 feet of that frontage for the driveway/road. Subtract 40 feet frontage from the 187 feet frontage which 15 Apple Hill Lane has and you are left with 147 feet frontage. Not enough. The house must go. And now with all the rain pouring in the windows, mold is suddenly discovered in the house. This beautiful classic colonial is demolished.
Over 40 neighbors and abutters have been attending Conservation Commission and Planning Board hearings since last year. This land abuts Lynnfield Conservation Land which drains into Beaverdam Brook Reservation, which is a resource for our Lynnfield Center Water District. There are now springs, streams and pools buried 20 feet down under the builder/developer’s debris.
The Conservation Commission is attempting to drill down with a wetlands/scientist/engineer to determine where the soil can support wetlands. Is this an impossible job? The builder/developer certainly hopes so. The Conservation Committee has the authority per the Lynnfield Environmental Bylaws to force the builder/developer to remove all this 2,000 cubic yards of debris he has dumped here. Neighbors and abutters feel this is the right decision. He himself has caused the problem.
A simple question: Is filling without a permit or oversight now an acceptable method of removing evidence of wetlands before development in Lynnfield? If true, we think you can expect more off-line wetlands fillings to create lots in our future.
Please join us at the coming Planning Board and Conservation Commission meetings.
March 29, 2016
Apple Hill Neighbor