Friday, December 24, 2010
Charton Landslide Report Faults Weather, Poor Property Maintenance
A report on the March 30 landslide at 106-108 and 118 Newfield Street, the Charton Apartments, issued by the city's Department of Planning, Conservation and Development cites substantial rainfall and "poor property maintenance practices," as the cause for the landslide and subsequent blocking of the main channel of the Coginchaug River.
While the report notes that all legal requirements and permits were followed in the construction of the apartments, that subsequent illegal filling and grading were a factor in the landslide. According to the report, "the City issued a notice of violation letter to Ted Charton on September 17, 2007 for filling and excavating and/or grading occurring within 100 feet of an upland review area. The filling activity at the site was likely not properly seeded or reinforced to prevent erosion."
The report also notes that there is at least one other city site, on George Street where steep slopes, poor drainage and clear cutting of land for construction have already resulted in problems.
The report suggests steps to create new regulatory language to prevent future occurences.
The city is planning to cut a new channel for the Coginchaug to prevent flooding in Veteran's Park. The new channel will cut across the edge of the property of a veterinarian, Michael Brothers, on the other side of the river at the end of Berlin Street. Brothers said nobody from the city had spoken to him about cutting a channel in his land but that he was unconcerned about it.
Full report here.