Storage firm, owner fined for Londonderry wetlands disturbance

The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation  announced on Monday that Reggie C. Cyr and Mountain View Storage LLC, owners of three properties in Londonderry, were fined $19,365.72 for construction that was not authorized under their Act 250 Land Use Permit and for disturbing Class II wetlands and their buffers, and two stream buffers, without authorization.

According to the state, Cyr and Mountain View Storage, which is a business based in Winhall, own three contiguous properties in Londonderry that contain wetlands. The properties are subject to an Act 250 Permit and a Conditional Use Determination from the DEC that authorize specific activities and structures in and around the wetlands and stream buffers. In December 2020, the ANR and the Natural Resources Board determined that earthwork and development activities had occurred within the wetlands and their buffers, none of which was authorized by the Conditional Use Determination. They also observed buildings and structures on the properties and encroachments into the stream buffers that were not approved under the Act 250 Permit.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont’s wetlands provide many valuable services to the public and environment including flood water storage, water quality protection, habitat for fish, wildlife and plant species, and recreation, and development activities in or near wetlands have the potential to harm these. Vermont law requires a wetland permit for any activity that is not exempt or considered an “allowed use” within significant wetlands or their buffer areas. DEC reviews activities, such as clearing and filling, conducted in or near wetlands and permits those activities that will not cause undue harm to the wetland.

Act 250 is Vermont’s land use and development law and is administered by the Natural Resources Board. Act 250 provides a public, quasi-judicial process in the state for reviewing the environmental, social, and fiscal consequences not only of major subdivisions, but also other development and associated land clearing. The law has played a critical role in maintaining the quality of life that Vermonters enjoy. Properties with an Act 250 Permit must comply with all permit conditions or request that their permit be amended prior to conducting any unpermitted activities.

Despite early efforts to develop and implement a remediation plan and a potential permit amendment, the landowners did not bring the properties into compliance, and the ANR initiated an enforcement action for the violations. The landowners agreed to a fine of $19,365.72 and agreed to restore the wetlands and remediate the impact of unauthorized activities, including the stream buffers, as well as apply for a permit amendment to their Act 250 Permit for all currently unpermitted activities on the project tract. This agreement was incorporated into a Final Judicial Order of the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division on June 16, 2023.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Latest News

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.