March Forth on March 4th: Show Up at Sanctuary 40B HAC Manchester Hearing


To the Editor,
March Forth! It’s a command that inspires optimism and determination, and it’s also a date on the calendar. You’ll recall that last year Manchester’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied SLV’s request for a comprehensive permit to blast a significant portion of Shingle Place Hill to build a gargantuan 40B development. On March 4th, 2024 the MA Housing Appeals Committee will begin their hearings as SLV appeals the ZBA’s decision. And we will be there.
The hearing will begin at the American Legion in Manchester at 10 a.m. and will run for about four hours with a lunch break. Please join us as we rally (with coffee and snacks) outside the American Legion at 9:30 a.m. to show our support for the Town ZBA’s decision and in defense of Shingle Place Hill. Please attend as much of the public hearing on Monday as your schedule allows, it really does make a difference to show the community’s opposition to this destructive development, and it’s a valuable opportunity to learn how this process works.
The rest of the hearing will take place remotely, and we will send the link as soon as it is announced. The schedule of arguments and cross examinations will be released on February 23rd, and although the hearing is scheduled for March 4-8th our lawyers tell us to anticipate additional days.
Thank you for your continued support. This is truly what Think Globally, Act
Locally means. Supporting the conservation land adjacent to Shingle Place Hill, the cold water fishery, the vernal pools, and the peace and quiet of the Wilderness Conservation Area is important NOW at the appeals stage; the community and volunteers have invested so much time and effort, not to mention the legal and municipal staff costs over the past several years at Select Board and Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Committee meetings. The issues of safety, accessibility, and feasibility of the water and sewer connections and the suitability of the storm water plans remain an issue.
The legal team for MECT’s appeal, led by Dennis Murphy of Hill Law with Dan Hill and Elizabeth Pyle, has been preparing for months for these hearings. The consultants you will likely recognize are Scott Horsley, John Chessia, Pat Garner and a few newer faces. The town's defense attorney is George Pucci.
We are amazed with the continued support and look forward to seeing you again when the public hearings begin in March. We appreciate your financial support towards this effort and our other land protection endeavors. March Forth with us on March 4th!
Until then, we’ll see you on the trails.
Patrice Murphy
Executive Director of Manchester Essex Conservation Trust