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October 16, 2013

Salem residents must remove illegal docks

Arlington Pond residents lose fight

SALEM — The state Department of Environmental Services is ordering the owners of two illegal docks to remove them from town property along Arlington Pond.

The town has dashed the property owners’ hopes they would be able reach an agreement to keep the docks or buy the land.

The docks have stood on the property for decades. Salem officials didn’t realize the two docks were on town land until an unidentified person called Town Hall to complain about them in June.

Town Manager Keith Hickey said yesterday the DES is notifying the property owners the docks must be taken down during the pond’s next drawdown, which begins this week.

Nimesh Parikh, who lives at 6 Aulson Road, said he was disappointed to learn selectmen voted unanimously last week not to sell the land.

“We really don’t have much recourse,” Parikh said. “There is nothing I can do at this point.”

Selectmen’s Chairman Everett McBride Jr. said selectmen thought it was in the town’s best interest to keep the land.

The land, which is less than an acre and assessed at $6,300, is adjacent to the Wheeler Dam property, Hickey said.

Parikh and his neighbor, Gina Leone-Osgood of 4 Aulson Road, presented their case to selectmen in August, saying they have maintained the property for years and should they be allowed to keep the docks near their homes.

Parikh, an Aulson Road resident for 13 years, said his dock was there when he bought the property.

Leone-Osgood said her dock has been there since before her family purchased their home in the 1970s.

“We really just want to come to a fair solution for everyone,” Leone-Osgood told selectmen.

She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

But selectmen, concerned about being sued if someone is hurt, said they wanted boats at the docks removed. Now, the state is ordering the docks gone, too.

A dirt path near the two homes leads to the waterfront.

“If anything happens out there, we own it,” Selectman Michael Lyons said.

Parikh said yesterday he was waiting for the water to drop 10 to 15 feet so he could remove his boat.

There was also a third floatable dock on town land. The owner of that dock removed it this summer, according to Parikh.

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