Some of you may have noticed a couple of statuesque coyotes on the patch of green between the pond and the “small barn-like structure” at 9 North Road.
It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that these “scarecrow” coyotes have successfully prevented the geese and ducks at the pond from laying their eggs in the grass as they normally would. So there are no baby ducks or goslings.
Although the Eliopoulos clan and the Board of Selectmen maintain that this tiny patch is an “open space conservation area” as mandated in the preservation restrictions on that property, it apparently is not to be utilized by wildlife. In fact, it is being used to prevent wildlife from reproducing.
Chelmsford lawyers Phil Eliopoulos, Jon Kurland, and Paul Haverty (who has written that “no exceptions were granted” in the permitting of 9 North Road) have worked to subvert the preservation restrictions and keep them from being enforced. Selectman Kurland and the other selectmen, in fact, have filed a motion in Superior Court asserting that that they have the legal right to refuse to uphold the law. The Selectmen claim in their legal papers that they do not have a mandatory obligation to enforce the preservation restriction put in place for our benefit. The Selectmen say that the decision whether to enforce the preservation restriction is discretionary – that is, they can enforce it if they feel like it but they are not obliged to do so, and they do not want the court to order them to do so. They are actively fighting the enforcement of the preservation restriction, on behalf of the developer!
Obviously, the Selectmens’ view of the preservation restriction results in a toothless, meaningless illusion. What good is a preservation restriction if there is no obligation to enforce it? The Selectmens’ radical interpretation of the law is all the more puzzling because they now say in effect that they have appropriately used their discretion to fail to preserve the town’s interests and to instead reward the Eliopoulos clan.
It would appear that Chelmsford has plenty of predators. But they’re not coyotes.
Roland Van Liew