A Conservation Commission decision made last September allowing a long-contested second home at 47 Spy Pond Lane continues to reverberate this fall.

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After Harold Boucher, 75, of Arlington, pleaded guilty Sept. 25 to two counts of witness intimidation, malicious destruction of property under $1,200 and attempting to commit a crime, he was ordered to pay $7,033.63 following a Nov. 14 restitution hearing, Marcela Marcela of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office said.

In connection with two instances of vandalism last summer, Boucher was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to undergo a mental health and substance-abuse evaluation and to stay away from and have no contact with the victim in this case, the victim’s family or the victim’s property. The Harold Boucher Trust owns 47 Spy Pond Lane, town records show.

Further, the Conservation Commission does not plan to reconsider its Sept. 5 vote permitting a second home at the Spy Pond Lane address.

YourArlington inquired with the Concom after a resident asked about reconsideration. Emily Sullivan, administrator for the Concom, has responded after consulting with commission Chair Nathanial Stevens. The board issued this statement:

"There is no ready mechanism for the Conservation Commission to consider or reconsider the bad acts of a potential beneficiary of an Order of Conditions, distinct from the Applicant (as in this situation).

"A course of action the commission has pursued is determining whether independent, enforcement action may be taken by the commission against the property owner of 47 Spy Pond Lane if the harm committed occurred within a jurisdictional resource area the commission is tasked with protecting. Please find a memo dated 9/4/2019 from Arlington Town Counsel attached, with more detail on the commission's role and authority over third-party misconduct."

Here is the referenced memo >>

Stevens began the Sept. 5 hearing by reading a statement about what he called “an act of terror committed on the property of a neighbor and opponent of the project.” At the time, the offender, described as a third party involved with the 47 Spy Pond Lane property, was not named.

Boucher was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on Sept. 10. Judge Roanne Sragow released the defendant on personal recognizance and ordered the defendant to stay away from, and have no contact with the victim and to consume no drugs or alcohol and to be subject to random screens.

Police reports

The DA's office reported that last June 28, at about 6:25 p.m., Arlington police responded to a report of apparent property destruction in the Kelwyn Manor neighborhood near Spy Pond. On arrival, authorities reported seeing a two-foot-wide trail of dead grass on the front lawn and detected the smell of gasoline.

On July 14, Arlington police responded to a report of a man pouring an unknown liquid in the same yard and onto a tree. Authorities again detected a chemical odor. 

Through their investigation, authorities learned the defendant was engaging in a real-estate development deal, and the victim was among a core group of neighbors advocating for development appropriate to the nature of the site. The defendant is alleged to have acted on two separate occasions to intimidate the victim in an effort to allow the sale to move forward. 

YourArlington learned about both cases of vandalism that police describe, but decided not to publish a summary, because the investigation was ongoing.

On Sept. 5, Stevens explained that the commission could not take the vandalism issue into consideration when ruling on the application, based on advice in a memo from Town Counsel Doug Heim, linked above.

That night, the town Conservation Commission voted, 4-2, to permit a long-opposed second home at 47 Spy Pond Lane.

Oct. 4, 2019: 47 Spy Pond Lane owner pleads guilty to witness intimidation, vandalism

 Sept. 6, 2019: Concom vote supports 2nd home at 47 Spy Pond Lane
July 17, 2019: Hearing on 47 Spy Pond Lane focuses on tree, profit
June 20, 2019: Long-running saga of 47 Spy Pond Lane continue
Oct. 31, 2018: 2nd hearing on revised 47 Spy Pond Lane plan held

This news summary was published Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.