The convoluted saga of Taylor Cove will be going to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as the lawyers for Taylor Cove Development, LLC declined to move forward in their hearing with the Conservation Commission. The developers have been attempting to build condominiums in an area off of River Street under the name of Taylor Cove.
Taylor Cove Development started building a road and infrastructure by using the Permit Extensions Act from a permit received over a decade ago to work on a separate project called Victoria Place, which was originally intended to be single family homes. The Victoria Place permit will expire in May 2012. They have not received approval from the Conservation Commission yet to begin specifically working on the Taylor Cove condos, but the developer is working under the assumption that the permit will eventually be granted.
On Tuesday evening, the Conservation Commission decided to delay the hearing after hearing the independent reviews of Ann Marton and Dan MacRitchie. Taylor Cove declined to extend their request for a permit to build and instead intend to go through the DEP to have them establish the boundaries on which they can build.
“This whole path has been a legal one,” said Hillcrest Road resident Frances Wheeler. “A legal loophole or some kind of state override of what the local town boards want.”
Wheeler and fellow residents are upset about the amount of construction that is already being permitted by the 2002 permit. Some groundwork was made on Tuesday as the commission decided that the Victoria Place permit in 2002 does not apply to any work that will be done for Taylor Cove. The board also ruled that delineation of the resource area that was defined under the Victoria Place permit is not the same as for a future Taylor Cove permit.
Opponents of Taylor Cove were hoping that the Commission would give a cease and desist order to the developers after approving those decisions, but the Commission ruled that the developers have the right to build for anything that could be associated with the Victoria Place project.
“The evidence continues to be buried,” said Wheeler. “A lot of the underground work required for the larger Taylor Cove project placement of sewer lines do not match up with the plans that’s been approved. So who knows what goes on down there.”
Representatives of Taylor Cove did not wish to comment on Tuesday night.
Marton’s report included new delineations that altered from the Victoria Place permit and ruled that what the developers had considered a pond is actually a river due to high water levels and a clear channel. The guidelines for building near a river are substantially different than building near a pond.
The Conservation Commission will be visiting the site next week and another meeting is set up for July 5 to determine action.