Judge Lifts Silver Maple Injunction as Work Resumes at Belmont Uplands

Less than 24 hours after initially granting an injunction halting the developer of the proposed 299-unit “Residences at Acorn Park” apartment complex from clearing land in Belmont’s Uplands, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Rosalind Miller vacated the stay on O’Neill Properties’ work in removing vegatation and trees in preparation of possible construction.

Miller’s ruling, on Tuesday Oct. 21, allowed work crews utilizing heavy equipment and chainsaws to resume the process of clearing the eight-acre site that began last week at the Silver Maple Forest parcel off Frontage Road on the Cambridge town line.

In her ruling, provided by the Superior Court, Miller wrote the plaintiffs – 14 Belmont members of the Coalition to Preserve Belmont Uplands who filed a request for the injunction on Oct. 13 – failed to show “irreparable harm” to their cause “in absence of an injunction.” In addition, Miller said the plaintiffs had “failed to disclose the seven year history of unsuccessful litigation regarding this development of an affordable housing project.” 

The rulings came after a week of civil disobediance in which 13 protesters have been arrest by Belmont Police at the site.

Miller’s complete judgement is below:

After review and hearing on 10/16/14, the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED. To obtain the extraordinary relief of an injunction, the plaintiffs must prove: (1) without the relief sought, plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm; (2) there is a likelihood of success on the merits of this case; and (3) any harm to the plaintiffs would outweigh the harm which the injunctive relief would inflict on the defendants. John T. Callahan & Sons, Inc. v. City of Malden, 430 Mass. 124 (1999). Plaintiffs have failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of this case and a substantial risk of irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction. The court declines to impose sanctions on the plaintiffs for their failure to disclose the seven year history of unsuccessful litigation regarding this development of an affordable housing project. The previous temporary restraining order issued on 10/20/14, is hereby vacated. SO ORDERED. (Rosalind H. Miller, Justice, Dated: 10/21/14)

 

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