Spear and Tenney search for common ground

Neighbors Carrie Spear and Richard Tenney are attempting to reach an out-of-court agreement in their septic tank/well dispute.

Tenney's Snack Bar&Bottle Redemption. File photo
Tenney’s Snack Bar & Bottle Redemption. File photo.

On March 9, lawyers for Carrie Spear and co-Appellants Michael Spear and 2877 Spear Street Associates, LLC, filed a Notice of Appeal in Chittenden County Superior Court to block Tenney from installing a well on his property at 76 Jackson Hill Road. In the filing, Spear claims Tenney’s permit was “improperly obtained for numerous reasons” and “directly impacts” Spear’s adjacent property.

Tenney’s permit, which was approved February 12, detailed a plan to disconnect the building on his property from a shared, off-site water supply to a new drilled well.

On April 1, Spear filed a list of appellate questions with the Court, asking the judge to decide if Tenney complied with Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Rules (VWSR) “because [Tenney] did not provide Appellants with at least seven calendar days’ notice prior to the date Applicant’s application was submitted.”

Appellants also asked the Court if Tenney’s permit should be denied “because Appellants had previously noticed proposed wastewater plans on their adjacent property with the Town of Charlotte.”

Spear applied for a conditional use permit last October to add an apartment and a deli to her existing retail space, Spear’s Corner Store, in East Charlotte. After months of deliberation, Spear’s permit was conditionally approved on Feb. 22 ― ten days after Tenney received approval for his well permit. The News first reported on the potential dispute between the landowners on February 25, 2021.

The parties had until June 11 to come to come to an agreement or to inform the Court of their plan to enter mediation. In a letter dated June 12 and filed on June 14, Tenney updated the Court about his ongoing negotiations with the Appellants.

“The parties are still discussing settlement of this matter and have made some progress,” Tenney wrote. “I request that the court allow additional time for these discussions.”

Tenney informed the Court he is being advised by an attorney who “has not yet agreed to enter his appearance in this matter.”

At press time, neither Richard Tenney nor Appellants’ attorney Liam Murphy, of MSK Attorneys, had responded to requests for comment.