Tree cutting leads to lawsuit
Rockport — Village at Rockport LLC has filed a lawsuit claiming 17 trees were removed without permission by the former owner from a property purchased earlier this year.
The lawsuit claims former owner of the property located at 695 Commercial St. in Rockport, Theodore Skowronski, agreed to cease cutting the trees when approached by a representative of Village at Rockport LLC in late November 2012. However, he then resumed cutting immediately, according to paperwork filed in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland.
“The defendant returned to the premises five days later and intentionally and knowingly cut more trees, in clear violation of plaintiff's lawful demand that he cease trespassing against plaintiff's property,” the lawsuit states.
According to documents filed Jan. 31 in superior court in Rockland, the property was purchased by Village at Rockport LLC in July 2012. An agreement was made between the company and Skowronski that allowed him to continue to live in the house on the property until a completed cottage became available as part of Phase Four of development of the property. Later, a new agreement was reached to extend the build time for Skowronski's cottage, leading him to take up residence in a condominium unit, the documents state.
The lawsuit lists a count of statutory trespass and requests damages be paid to Village at Rockport for the value of the lost products or diminution in value of the real estate as a whole, whichever is greater; and costs for regeneration of the removed vegetation, among other fees.
Another count of common law trespass also is included in the lawsuit.
“Defendant entered upon the property of the plaintiff and, without plaintiff's permission, removed, or directed others to remove, approximately 17 trees that had great aesthetic, shade and vegetative buffer value for property that was being incorporated into plaintiff's building development known as the Village at Rockport,” the lawsuit states, noting as well, “Plaintiff has been injured as a result of such trespass.”
The Village at Rockport totals 39.70 acres. Prior to construction of Phase Four units, the subdivision was comprised of 35 units — six single-residence cottages and 29 units in multi-family dwellings — which was approved by the town in three phases. With the addition of Phase Four cottages, there will be a total of 48 units in the subdivision, according to information previously provided by the town's planning office.
Skowronski is listed on the town of Rockport's website as chairman of the conservation commission, with a term that expires in 2014. Attempts to locate contact information for Skowronski were unsuccessful.
Courier Publications Associate Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.