Hazardous issue causes business to pause project

The runoff of the silt from the driveway on 61 and 63 College Hwy is going onto the road. (Photo from Conservation Commission)

SOUTHWICK – The Conservation Commission has decided to issue a cease and desist against an applicant for a project during a meeting this week.

AAA Homes of Agawam is building two single-family homes side by side at 61 and 63 College Hwy. and has violated their application. With one driveway being built for each of the single-family homes, AAA had a third driveway constructed in the middle of the two other driveways to allow their concrete trucks go up to the job site.

According to Southwick officials who have been reviewing the application and overseeing the project, the silt from the driveways of the two homes set on a steep slope has run off into the road.

“They really opened that up to flooding,” said Town of Southwick Building Inspector Art Lawler.

Due to the erosion going onto the road, Southwick Police have recently had to work traffic detail to make it safer for vehicles to pass by and help avoid accidents from occurring.

“I’m surprised there wasn’t an accident out there,” said Dennis Clark, the Coordinator for the Conservation Commission.

Clark added that it’s also estimated by town officials that 50 cubic yards of erosion material has gone into the nearby wetlands.

The cease and desist, which was voted on and issued by the Conservation Commission on Monday night, now stops AAA Homes from continuing any work on the driveways or begin construction on the two homes.

The Conservation Commission has also issued an enforcement order to AAA Homes, which now requires them to create and submit an Erosion and Sediment Control plan, in order to prevent any more erosion material from going onto the road or into the wetlands. They will be required to hire a professional engineer to help them create the plan.

The plan has to be submitted to the Conservation Commission by February 4. Once receiving it, the Conservation Commission can accept it and if they do, AAA Homes would then have 30 business days to implement the plan. If the applicant chooses not to comply with the enforcement order, legal action and fines could take place.

The Conservation Commission is receiving assistance from the Department of Public Works, the Planning Board, and the Building Department.

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