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$12,600 Penalty Issued Against Developer For Building In Wetland

CONTACT: Michael O. Duane, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3178

January 23, 2009 - The Chittenden Superior Court has issued a $12,600.00 penalty against a developer who built a house in a portion of a wetland and wetland buffer zone in Jericho, Vermont. The penalty along with the removal of the structure from the wetland were conditions imposed by the Court based on an enforcement action brought by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.

Builder Larry Westall had constructed a house on land he had purchased off Brown's Trace Road in Jericho in 1995. The Agency of Natural Resources issued Westall a citation for violation of the wetland rules. Westall appealed the wetland violation notice sent to him by the Water Resources Board, but the Water Resources Board denied Westall's request for an after-the-fact approval to build in the wetland area. Following the Board's action, the Attorney General sued Westall for the violation, and in 2005 the court ordered Westall to remove the house and to restore the site. The house was finally demolished in 2007 after attempts to sell the structure had failed. The site was restored by Westall to the satisfaction of the Agency of Natural Resources in the fall of 2008.

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