, Salem, MA

Local News

January 19, 2013

City offers project terms


“Most everyone else is willing to give up,” he said. But he sees a serious flaw in the deal’s “no blasting” provision.

“(Tiro) still has to prepare the land,” Gandolfo said. “He’ll have to jackhammer the foundation. If he can’t blast it, he’ll have to chip it.” He fears a noisy, earthshaking, 90-day process in either case.

For his part, Tiro replies that there would be no blasting and only “minimal” hammering. He’s already dug “10 or 12 test pits” at the location where the new house would go, he said. “And it’s granite 6 feet down. That’s perfect. Couldn’t be any better.”

He anticipates that the foundation could be excavated with a backhoe, without any blasting or hammering. A small amount of hammering might be needed to lay utility conduits, but even that’s not certain.

“Where the house is going to go, there will be nothing at all,” he said.

Tiro, who already has a substantial financial investment in the land, makes the case that in America, people are entitled to develop their own property. “You have the right to build it if you follow the rules and regulations.”

Ward Councilor Dave Gamache attended last Thursday’s meeting with residents.

“The majority agreed” to conditions proposed by the Board of Appeals, which would forbid blasting, he said. At the same time, the lawsuit would be settled.

Noting that the retaining wall is “right above where they would be blasting,” Gamache warns that absent the “no blasting” compromise, worse things could result for the residents. “I don’t see a lot of this challenge in court going the way of the neighbors.” Laws protect people’s property, he noted. “I can’t see a judge saying no to the developer.”

Gandolfo, however, is now seeking legal representation.

“I’m on the stubborn side,” he said.

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