All is not quiet on East Mountain Road

City and state inspectors gain access to East Mountain Road property. (Photo submitted)

WESTFIELD – During a discussion  Dec. 10 on enforcement of a cease and desist order at 233 East Mountain Road (formerly 0 East Mountain Road), abutter Richard Morini asked the Conservation Commission if shooting went against the order.
Morini said brothers Mark and Chris Dupuis, who own the land, have been shooting on the property within 500 feet of neighbors. “If you have a cease and desist order, is he able to go up and shoot,” Morini asked the commission.
Chairman David A. Doe said the order from their commission applied to further construction on a proposed hemp farm until the restoration of impacted wetlands is complete. “That’s a police matter,” Doe said, referring to the shooting.
After the meeting, Morini said the neighbors have been calling the police, who have gone to speak with the Dupuis’ several times about the complaints. He said a police officer he spoke to said they were shooting further than 500 feet away from residences. Morini said there had been shooting for three days straight over the weekend, and also after dark.
According to the Dec. 6 police log, multiple callers reported that there was a party shooting in a wooded area less that 500 feet from residences.
Sgt. John Parrish responded to the call and said he spoke with Mark and Chris Dupuis, land owners of the property, who said they were deer hunting with shotguns, and the location where they were firing from was more than 500 feet from a dwelling and 150 feet from a roadway. “There was a dwelling visible through the cleared woods, but they was more than 500 feet away. This is an ongoing dispute between the land owners and neighbors,” Parrish wrote in the log.
Shotgun season for deer is Dec. 2 to Dec. 14.
The Conservation Commission meanwhile discussed the stabilization plan, which had not started due to the snow. Conservation Coordinator Meredith Borenstein said Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife had approved the plan, which includes laying down plywood over the road, removing bags of concrete and a wood chip pile from the wetlands, and dragging more than 60 stumps, which had been placed on the border with the Morini’s property, back to the buffer zone for woody debris.
Commission member James R. Murphy, Jr. said in some respects the materials can be moved with less damage due to the snow, including the cement bags, which would be hardened.
Borenstein said they would move forward, but the owners through their attorney Daniel M. McKellick had asked for approval of contractors to proceed, per the cease and desist order. The commission said they had received a list of names, but no information about the contractors. Due to the urgency of the stabilization plan and the fact that they won’t meet again until Jan. 14, the commission voted to authorize Borenstein to approve the contractors once she receives the information.
Morini said that the Dupuis’ had set up a camouflage on the wood chip pile. He also said with all of the vegetation that had been cleared, he will be pumping out the basement, something he didn’t have to do prior to the land clearing. The commission told him that he would have to consult a lawyer for redress of that issue.
After the meeting, Morini explained that his house sits lower than the property, but he had not had water in his basement previously. He also said he is already in court with the Dupuis’ over an adverse possession claim for a 20 by 35-foot parcel that he has used and maintained with permission from the previous owner for more than 30 years for parking for Creative Kids Day Care, which his wife Sherri Morini runs on the property. That matter is in mediation, he said.

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