Hudson Conservation Commission considers options as owners move to sell troubled Coolidge Street property


Hudson town iconHUDSON – The owner of a property on Coolidge Street in Hudson has complied with an order to hire a wetland scientist to determine the degree of alteration to the property after town officials raised concerns earlier this year. 

But new concerns have since emerged around the future of the property.

Speaking during a Nov. 19 Conservation Commission meeting, Conservation Agent Pam Helinek revealed that the owner of Edge Landscaping, Edimar Ferreira, had put the land back on the market. The selling price is $200,000 – the same amount that the Ferreiras bought the land for three years ago.   

“It is not worth that [price],” Helinek said. “Because there is only a teeny-tiny bit of that property that’s useful.” 

The large majority of the Edge Landscaping property is protected under provisions of the Wetlands Protection Act as part of Hog Brook runs through it. The Conservation Commission had previously approved an order to cease tree cutting and construction, as a result of this. 

But the town had struggled to actually enforce that order, Helinek said at a commission meeting on Sept. 23, observing evidence of additional activity at the site during recent visits.

“We have no teeth, but there is continuance of encroachment,” commission member James Martin said at the time.

The commission raised concerns following this most recent update on Nov. 19 asking, among other things, whether the Ferreiras would get to wash their hands of the restoration liability the town is asking for by selling the property.

“That’s not going to get them out of responsibility for this, is it?” commission member Debra Edelstein asked.

The consensus was that any potential buyer must be made aware of the issues around the Coolidge Street parcel. 

“By way of having this enforcement order on the property, that at the minimum should be disclosed to any potential buyer,” said David Cowell, the wetland scientist contracted by Edge Landscaping. “They are still on the hook for restoration of the area. It is not a minor thing.”

Edge Landscaping is in compliance with the town’s current enforcement order to hire Cowell. The order did not yet make the owner liable to do the restoration work, though.

“There’s an uphill climb here,” Cowell said. “We have gone from suspicion of a violation to confirmation of one.” 

An updated enforcement order will now require work to determine the extent of this disturbance. Edge Landscaping will then need to develop a restoration plan for the area. 

The Conservation Commission determined that Edge Landscaping could legally ask permission to disturb up to 5,000 sq. ft. of their property – the maximum allowed – and submit a Notice of Intent. That would trigger, among other things, an alert to a bank processing any sale of the property, which would notify a buyer of the issues at hand.

If Edge Landscaping does not go that route, it will have to complete restoration of the wetlands and vegetation across the entire space. Stabilization of the sediment in the area may also be required depending on findings from an upcoming site visit. 

Owners of Edge Landscaping, the Ferreiras, did not attend this Nov. 19 meeting due to the death of a family member overseas.

“I suspect this restoration is going to be expensive,” Helinek said. “I want the property owners to really understand that.”

The difficulty with repairing mature forest that has been cleared is that there is no way to truly restore it without waiting for many years, Cowell said. 

“The best we can do is put in saplings and larger size native plants,” he added. “It’s just not possible to go to a nursery and buy a seventy-foot white pine.”

 The deadline for a full report of the extent of disturbance has been set for Dec. 31, 2022. The restoration plan itself will be due on Feb. 1, 2022. 


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