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05/21/2009

By Lisa Loomis

An emergency hearing to halt the delivery of a home to a parcel of land in Waitsfield was continued in Washington Superior Court this week.

The hearing began on May 19 and involves a petition by Tom and Judy Buczkowski to halt the delivery of a home for George Beattie on a parcel of land located near Old Talc Mine, a private road in Waitsfield near the Moretown town line. The Buczkowskis own a 19-acre parcel of land. Beattie owns a parcel of land adjoining it.

The Buczkowskis allege that Beattie's parcel is landlocked and in court documents site a portion of his warranty deed which reads "the land and premises conveyed hereby does not now have a known right of way for access between it and a public highway." They argue that Beattie has repeatedly trespassed on their land, has entered their property with heavy machinery, and destroyed trees and vegetation, starting in 1999 and continuing through this spring. The Buczkowskis served Beattie a notice of trespass in December 1999 and again in March 2009.

BUILDING PERMIT

This winter Beattie received a building permit from the town of Waitsfield, providing the town with documentation indicating that he had access to his land via Old Talc Mine Road. In addition to the court proceedings this week, the Buczkowskis' attorney, Lauren Kolitch, filed a request that the town revoke that permit and serve notice of violation to Beattie for failure to comply with the town's land use regulations.

The regulations require that homeowners have frontage on a public road or a permitted easement or right of way 20 feet wide to receive a building permit. When that is not the case an applicant must go before the development review board for approval.

In April and May, according to court documents, Beattie began developing his land using two private roads, Old Talc Mine and Stony Farm Road, for access. The Buczkowskis asked the court for injunctive relief to prevent Beattie from trespassing and from having a home delivered/installed via their land and asked for damages, attorney's fees and no further interference with their "right to quiet enjoyment of their property and lands."

DENIED THE PETITION

Tuesday's court hearing was continued to an unspecific date and the town denied the petition to revoke the building permit. The Buczkowskis' attorney, Kolitch, also filed a request for a jurisdictional opinion with Act 250, which issued the permit that created the two-lot subdivision from which their parcel was created. She cited a provision of the original Act 250 permit, which "prohibits the use of any road, which may be subsequently permitted to serve these two lots, as access to any adjacent tracts without the filing of an amendment application and evidence under all applicable criteria."

Dick King, who is the attorney for Beattie, has not yet filed responses to Kolitch's documents and has 20 days to do so. Act 250 has not yet responded either. Kolitch said she will appeal the town of Waitsfield's denial of her request to revoke the building permit.

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