Gerry Island Ramp Request Denied
The town's Conservation Commission unanimously denied a request from Peter Noyes to construct a gravel ramp leading out to Gerry Island Thursday night.
At their meeting Thursday night, the town's Conservation Commission unanimously denied a request from Peter Noyes to construct a gravel ramp leading out to Gerry Island.
Although Noyes was not on hand for Thursday's meeting, his consultant, Peter Ogren of the Wakefield-based Hayes Engineering Inc., presented commission members with an application on his behalf.
The application requested permission to use a backhoe to remove sediment from a causeway leading out to the Little Harbor island and replace it with a combination of larger stones and riprap intended to make Gerry Island easily accessible by motor vehicle.
On Wednesday afternoon, Noyes drove a large vehicle back out to the island and met with commission members in an effort to remove what was described as "junk" from the site.
Before the request was denied, commission member Fred Sullivan pointed out that "there is still quite a bit of junk out there" and that just during Wednesday's clean-up effort he noticed that a significant amount of damage was done to Gas House Beach.
"That army truck he used really tore up the beach," Sullivan said. "Whether or not he has the right of way to drive on the beach is one thing but tearing it up is another. I have a real problem with that."
Other concerms with the application voiced by commission members Thursday included the protection of lobster nurseries surrounding the island and Ogren's inability to offer a plan for how the ramp would be maintained.
In June, commission members denied Noyes' application for a permit to reconstruct seawalls on the island, saying that his proposed construction would violate the Wetlands Protection Act.
The commission also fined Noyes $900 for driving a large truck onto the island and for not telling the commission when he was driving it off. Noyes has since filed an appeal against the town in Superior Court challenging the pair of enforcement orders issued against him.
Noyes has asked the court “to order that the owners of Gerry's Island (Little Harbor Island) and their assignees have the right to use the deeded Way for the purpose of passing and repassing to and from said Island for all purposes.”
Noyes Claims Town Allows Driving on Other Beaches
Noyes said in his appeal that the commission's order “is contrary to law because the town has agreed to allow the Way to be used.”
The appeal further claims that the causeway is not subject to state law, Chapter 131, Section 40 because it excludes projects existing before 1973.
“Construction in coastal wetlands of access driveways is allowed in a manner which allows the flow of the tide,” the appeal said.
He said the commission's order was also “arbitrary and capricious” because the town of Marblehead allows driving on beaches such as Riverhead Beach without approval from the commission.
At past hearings, Noyes has told told the commission that he would like to store and repair boats on the island and said he has plans to build a campground.