Jay taking action against landowner over timber

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JAY – Selectmen voted Wednesday to proceed with legal action against a landowner for violation of a consent agreement pertaining to timber harvesting in a shoreland zoning area.

Steven Knockwood owns property off Route 4 in Jay, north of the transfer station and south of the intersection of Route 17. He has not replanted an area of trees that he agreed to under the agreement.

Knockwood entered into a consent agreement with the town on April 10, 2006, for harvesting timber and removing trees, brush and vegetation from within 250 feet of resource protection district of a designated wetland area without a permit from the town’s code enforcement officer.

According to the consent agreement, Knockwood created a clear-cut and has not maintained a well-distributed stand of trees and other vegetation, including existing ground cover within 75 feet of a wetland.

He also created a clear-cut greater than 10,000 square feet in the forest canopy within 250 feet of a designated wetland area.

Both are violations of the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance, the consent agreement stated.

Knockwood, who declined comment Thursday, had previously paid a $500 fine for the violations and submitted a restoration plan certified by a Maine licensed forester to replant the area, Code Enforcement Officer Shiloh Ring said.

The agreement called for Knockwood to replant the area within 250 of the wetland so that there were no cleared openings greater than 10,000 square feet with forest canopy and that a well distributed stand of trees is developed.

The plan was required to include provisions for replanting at a minimum rate of one tree per 80 square feet within the forest canopy with an 80 percent survival rate at the end of a three-year period. Additional replanting is required as necessary to assure the 80 percent rate.

Selectmen granted him a two-month extension to complete the replanting last summer but he didn’t get it done, Ring said.

Now the town is filing a land-use complaint against him to ask the court to enforce the agreement, Ring said.

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