NORTHAMPTON – On Aug. 25 Warfield Place citizens Lois Ahrens and Oliver Kellhammer submitted an expanded lawsuit from the Northampton Division of Community Will work following the metropolis tore down 10 shade trees on the road on July 29 as part of the city’s existing paving deal with Warner Bros.
In the lawsuit, the residents declare they ended up explained to by the city they would obtain observe when the venture was heading to commence.
“In a published see of roadway building, the city, as a result of its director of the Section of Community Will work, notified the plaintiffs and other citizens of Warfield Put that ‘temporary parking constraints could be imposed as essential in the course of development. Momentary no parking zone indicators will be mounted within just the general public ideal of way when this is the situation,’” it claimed.
The lawsuit claims, nonetheless, that contractors arrived on the morning of July 29 and commenced eliminating the trees without having putting up the indications.
“Without any prior warning and with out publishing any ‘no parking’ indications, a number of Northampton police officers, firefighters, Division of General public Functions workforce, and various contracted tree cutters and tow truck operators arrived en masse on Warfield Place to carry out the speedy and coordinated destruction of the Warfield Put community shade trees,” it stated.
Together with arriving unannounced, the lawsuit also claims “two legally parked vehicles” had been taken off by tow truck.
In the lawsuit, the inhabitants claim the town ignored a submitting for a non permanent restraining get at 11:20 a.m. on July 29 and then later on overlooked the order at the time it was accepted by Hampden County Outstanding Court docket Decide Mark Mason at 12:05 p.m. since a Hampshire County judge was not obtainable.
“When counsel for the plaintiffs was notified that the movement for a non permanent restraining get had been authorized, she quickly notified the city’s personnel on the scene. The town solicitor was also notified by the court docket that the plaintiff’s motion for a momentary restraining get experienced been permitted. The city refused to prevent reducing the remaining public shade tree, even while it was informed a momentary restraining buy was in spot,” it mentioned.
In addition to ignoring the short-term restraining purchase, the lawsuit also statements the city violated Massachusetts Basic Regulation Chapter 87, Area 3, which calls for a community listening to right before shade trees can be slice down.
“The city refused to convene a shade tree listening to to tackle the plaintiff’s issues. The plaintiffs ended up entitled to a public shade tree listening to less than the statute, and particularly to the option to existing all applicable details about the shade trees to the Tree Warden,” it claimed.
In Show 2 of the lawsuit, DPW Director Donna LaScaleia claimed in an email the city would not conduct a third general public meeting about the trees.
“Though I realize that you would like to have another assembly about the trees, we have had two general public conferences about this task already. Even further meetings would not be constructive,” she said in the electronic mail.
About damages, the citizens are in search of a permanent restraining buy to stop the cutting of public shade trees in the long run devoid of hearings.
“The plaintiffs request that the court challenge a long-lasting restraining get purchasing the metropolis not to slice and remove general public shade trees in Northampton streets and techniques prior to convening a tree shade hearing to change all the trees on Warfield Spot that were being eradicated with experienced cherry trees at minimum 25 toes in height and award plaintiffs this sort of other and further more aid as this court deems correct,” it claimed.
In a joint statement, Ahrens and Kellhammer explained they were shocked the trees were torn down and are concerned about what sort of precedent this scenario could set for other shade trees in the metropolis.
“It was surprising to see the city racing to damage the trees prior to a court could decide no matter if they were being permitted to. The consequence is the irreversible decline of the street’s shade cover, the generation of a warmth island for decades to arrive and most frighteningly the development of a precedent that any one who seeks a honest process for their streets will be aggressively silenced and dismissed,” they reported.
When there is practically nothing that can be finished about the trees on Warfield Put, Kellhammer and Ahrens said they hope they can support safeguard other trees in the long term through their legal action.
“What the town did on our road simply cannot be undone, but we believe the authorized motion we are using could support defend other persons and trees in the long run,” they explained.
Reminder Publishing attained out to town officials for remark but did recceive a reaction as of press time.