Friday, October 15, 2004
Neighbors appeal to Board of Selectmen in tree feud
One of the more unpleasant aspects of serving on the Board of Selectmen is being asked to referee a feud between neighbors. This was the case at the October 12 meeting when Jay Acquaviva and Peter Burn, of 193 and 223 Partridge Lane respectively, appeared before the Selectmen to argue over a tree. The pine tree, which Burn has always considered his own, was marked for removal by Acquaviva because of potential danger to his power lines and property. A subsequent survey revealed that the offending tree belonged to neither party, but instead stood in the town right of way and was under the jurisdiction of the Selectmen.
This in no way diminished either party's determination to fight, as Acquaviva went on to hire a professional arborist who ruled that the tree was dying, and Burn hired a lawyer to "threaten" Acquaviva. Chair Tim Hult at this point looked extremely grieved as he ran his fingers through his tousled hair and probably wished he was watching the first game of the Red Sox — Yankees playoffs instead. "We try to resolve these issues without having to take a vote," said Hult. "Do either of you believe that you can work this out without a vote by the Selectmen?" He already knew what the response would be from the two angry abutters. "I'm not a tree killer!" exclaimed Acquaviva, while Burn emphatically stated, "I do not want the tree to be cut!"
Hult chose to delay any final vote until the next meeting on October 26. In the meantime, he plans to discuss the matter with Tree Warden Gary Davis and possibly hire a professional arborist who can determine the tree's health and rule on a possible death sentence. Meanwhile, Acquaviva received permission from the belabored Selectmen to gather signatures from the neighbors to bolster his side of the argument.
© 2004 The