A group of residents expressed their anger and frustration to the Town Council Tuesday night over a new wall constructed by Oakley Country Club near their homes, and that the Town allowed its construction.
In December, a stand of about a dozen trees were removed from the edge of the Oakley Country Club property and a wall was erected near Oakley and Arden roads. The changes to the area have resulted in flooding of one neighbor’s property and increased water flow into others.
Oakley Road resident Jen Green said when it rains, a stream of water now comes down onto her property. She added that all this was done without her being contacted by the Country Club or the Town.
Neighbor Mark Leonard said a group of people contacted the town about how the project was allowed, and got responses that did not satisfy him.
“We heard from people saying it’s a shame. We should make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Leonard said. “But, this is the again. This is a situation where a person builds a structure with out a permit, without conversation with abutters.”
While an erosion control permit was approved by the Department of Public Works, the project also required a building permit, which it did not receive, according to messages from DPW officials.
Another neighbor, Mark Dawson, said that before this the country club was a good neighbor.
“I couldn’t be so disappointed with Oakley,” Dawson said. “I am disappointed with the city for allowing this to happen. I don’t know all the details, but I am disappointed.”
Green added that she has been at Town Hall with another neighbor asking for minor changes to their home and they got many questions about the project, which she said would not impact neighbors.
“It seems like the people who follow the rules fundamentally are punished for following the rules, and there is not equality for the people who say I’m better off begging for forgiveness than asking for permission,” Green said. “I’m asking (the Town Council) to review your processes to make sure that the enforcement is held up and people feel it is fair.
“So when you get here, and you get grilled, you know, wow, it is not for you but for protection of neighbors.”
Town Council President Mark Sideris said the Town Council and town officials will look at the process. Primarily, he wants to make sure that a project approved by one department, other departments are aerte also made known to other departments.
“They have gone and got a stormwater permit and done all this work,” Sideris said. “There needs to be a mechanism, where if it goes to one department, it triggers review from another department so that everyone knows whats going on.”
The Council voted to send the issue to Council’s Rules and Ordinances Committee, which will have a discussion with officials from the Department of Public Works, and the Planning Department, and any other departments that may be involved.