To the editor:

In regards to the July 31 article “Junkyard dispute resurfaces,” Ferris Salvage claiming ownership 25,000 square feet of city of Salem property due “adverse possession” has been refuted many times legally and practically; claiming to own parkland is specifically prohibited by Chapter 91 of Massachusetts code.

The disputed parcel was a part of the land accepted by the commonwealth in 1926 when “all land north of 18 Franklin Street” was accepted as a park. Therefore, it belongs to the children of Salem and cannot be annexed and sold by a neighbor.

Practically speaking the late, great Jim Treadwell, a certified city planner, stated these facts at every single Ferris zoning board hearing at least from 2004 (when I became aware) until his death. A simple check of the zoning board meeting minutes will reveal this. I can also tell you that I, along with many concerned neighbors, including our state representative, Paul Tucker, and our at-large-city councilor, Art Sargent, have also stated this fact at both the community meetings called by Councilor Beth Gerard, and at the subsequent Design Review Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Committee meetings. In fact, Salem’s Conservation Commission required “proving the boundaries” of the disputed lot as condition that must be met to gain full approval of the project.

While I can see the appeal of selling off adjacent properties to which you don’t hold title; it just don’t work that way!

Anne Sterling


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