Jon Kurland has finally responded to my repeated challenges to identify Center Park as required in the preservation restrictions on the property now referred to as “9 North Road.”
In an e-mail to me last Tuesday, Mr. Kurland stated, “I wish to point out that if you look at the aerial photo, there is considerable open space for the general public around the pond at 9 North Road.”
See the new “Center Park” below in red, according to Jon Kurland. It’s about the size of the Emerson House lawn, also shown in the photo.
I pointed out in my reply to Mr. Kurland that the irregular 15 to 20 foot wide strip of grass around a small part of the pond cannot in good faith be characterized as "considerable open space." Mr. Kurland has not responded.
Kurland also writes that, “The rights of the citizens are still in force in that citizens can go upon that land and sit by the pond, picnic, play Frisbee or whatever.” But the tiny bit of land isn’t even level, and bring your wading boots because if you miss even the shortest ball or Frisbee toss, it’s into the pond.
But here’s the most egregious statement he made, that “Judge Piper has indicated that the project is legal.” I have asked Jon Kurland – just as I’ve asked Philip Eliopoulos – to produce the documentation that Judge Piper has ever indicated any such thing. The response from Kurland has been utter silence.
I have provided the entire BOS with the wording from Judge Piper that indicates that the matter awaits the BOS’ request for adjudication. Yet Jon Kurland indicates in his message that this matter “has been adjudicated in the Land Court” and “has been built upon in reliance of the BOS vote [that the PR is not being violated] and Judge Piper's decision." In fact, of course, this matter has NOT been adjudicated because the BOS has refused Judge Piper’s clear invitation to have them request that the court adjudicate the matter. And, of course, the developer built with full knowledge of Judge Piper’s written decision that the developer would build at its own risk, and that the construction might have to be modified or torn down once the matter is fully adjudicated.
So, despite the fact that Epsilon's huge office building violates the preservation restrictions in multiple ways, our selectmen have decided to refuse to enforce the restrictions. The selectmen have essentially nullified the preservation restrictions by simply refusing to compel Epsilon to remove or modify its illegal project.
Jon Kurland’s response to the inconvenient facts mentioned above has been utter silence.
Short story: the selectmen are still selling us out and are still refusing to have the preservation restrictions adjudicated impartially in court. And to defend that position Jon Kurland is willing to join Philip Eliopoulos in misrepresenting what Land Court Judge Piper has ruled, what Piper has written, and what the Court has said. I think it’s outrageous that selectmen who happen to also be lawyers can just go around mischaracterizing judicial rulings – and getting that misinformation parroted in the press over and over – without any repercussions whatsoever. But that’s the reality.
And another unfortunate reality is that Jon Kurland thinks we can enjoy playing Frisbee at the “new” 15-foot wide Center Park among the ducks, vying for space in the ribbon-strip by the pond.
Roland Van Liew