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Conservation Commission takes no action against DeNardis  

Despite the hearing's amicable conclusion, it began with a tense argument between the commission members and the DeNardises. Ann DeNardis, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Fairhaven regarding the town's two wind turbines, alleged that her involvement in the suit was "the only reason I was called here. "You are selectively enforcing this law against me," she said. Jones countered her claim, saying the commission received an anonymous tip with photographs of the DeNardises' sport utility vehicle driving through the marsh.

Credit:  By ARIEL WITTENBERG | www.southcoasttoday.com 11 September 2012 ~~

FAIRHAVEN – The Conservation Commission Monday night decided not to punish Fairhaven attorneys Ann and Antonio DeNardis for driving their SUV more than 200 feet into the wetlands of Little Bay in July.

After consulting with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the commission determined it will not take action against the DeNardises so long as the damaged marsh grasses grow back within a year.

Conservation Commission member Andrew Jones said the decision came after the DEP and the commission examined evidence that residents had regularly been driving through the salt marsh since the 1960s.

“At this point, even if the grass does not grow back, I don’t know how we would isolate what damage … was caused by your vehicle as opposed to by other people,” Jones said.

Despite the hearing’s amicable conclusion, it began with a tense argument between the commission members and the DeNardises. Ann DeNardis, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Fairhaven regarding the town’s two wind turbines, alleged that her involvement in the suit was “the only reason I was called here.

“You are selectively enforcing this law against me,” she said.

Jones countered her claim, saying the commission received an anonymous tip with photographs of the DeNardises’ sport utility vehicle driving through the marsh.

“We don’t pick and choose what comes in front of our commission,” he said.

Commission Chairman Joseph Taylor agreed, saying “it looks like your vehicle caused or contributed to damaging the marsh; I don’t see how that’s arguable.”

DeNardis also initially maintained “we did not alter the marsh in any way” because she drove through pre-existing tracks.

“The marsh has always been public access,” she said.

Jones said that regardless of what other residents do, everyone should know not to drive in the wetlands.

“The thing is, it’s a marsh; it’s not a road or an access point,” he said. “We rely on people to have more or less common sense. You don’t drive on beaches; you shouldn’t drive on a marsh, either,” Jones said.

Taylor said the commission will work with the Fairhaven-Acushnet Land Preservation Trust, which owns the salt marsh, to prevent further damage to it. He recommended placing boulders at the end of Shawmut Street.

Source:  By ARIEL WITTENBERG | www.southcoasttoday.com 11 September 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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