KP Law is pleased to announce that A. Alexander Weisheit, on behalf of the Town of Georgetown, received a favorable opinion from the Massachusetts Appeals Court on Monday, May 31, 2019. The Appeals Court upheld an earlier Essex Superior Court finding that the Georgetown Conservation Commission acted appropriately in denying an Order of Conditions under the Georgetown Wetland Protection Bylaw (the “Bylaw”). See Brian Farmer v. Conservation Commission of Georgetown, 2019 WL 2323747 (2019) (Rule 1:28 Decision). Importantly, the Appeals Court upheld the Commission’s determination that the Bylaw’s requirement that new septic systems be set back a minimum of 100 feet from a wetlands resource area barred replacement of an existing leaching field with a “new” septic system serving a new single-family dwelling within the resource area. In particular, the Court held that the Applicant failed to rebut the Bylaw’s presumption of adverse impacts to resource areas from projects in close proximity to such resource areas, concluding that increasing the cumulative septic discharge within the buffer zone from 3 to 5 bedrooms was an “expansion of treatment” and “new construction” that would result in adverse impacts to the resource area.
Alex Weisheit is an Associate Attorney with KP Law, P.C. Attorney Weisheit works in the firm’s municipal land use practice group and represents Conservation Commissions throughout the Commonwealth.