Skip to main content

Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Hopedale DEP

By Theresa Knapp 

The Town of Hopeland has incurred two wetlands violations recently, one related to the placement of the new ADA-compliant ramp at the Bathhouse, and one at The Parklands. 


During recent renovations of the Bathhouse, a handicap ramp was installed to bring the building into compliance with the Amiercans with Disabilities Act. 

At the Select Board meeting, Ruscitti said the Building Commissioner had identified the placement of the current ramp as the only place on the site that could accommodate a ramp. 

“A prefabricated metal ramp was installed about two weeks ago,” said Ruscitti, at the March 12 meeting. “An individual took a picture and sent it to the state. That is in violation because it is within the [wetlands] shoreline zoning.” 

Ruscitti said he discussed the issue with DEP and explained the need to make the Bathhouse ADA-accessible. “The state is going through a paperwork process where there will have to be a hearing at the next Select Board hearing, the board will have to vote that there was minimal impact to the structure and to the environment, if the board so chooses. That response will be sent to the state, the complaint will be closed out, and we will be in full compliance.” 


During regular maintenance, an area of a peninsula within The Parklands was cleared for easier access. 

“There is a peninsula that a lot of residents use for fishing and recreation and other purposes,” explained Ruscitti. “In regular maintenance of The Parklands, there was a portion of that peninsula that, while well-intended, was accidentally cleared to make room for constituents using it. That is not supposed to have occurred. This was relayed to the Parks Commission and to our staff that maintain The Parklands. It was an accident; again, it was well-intended.” 

Ruscitti spoke with DEP about the incident. He said the state is recommending the town allow the vegetation to grow back. 

“They will send someone out in the fall to walk out into The Parklands to make sure that it has grown back, and we will no longer be clearing any areas in The Parklands or disturbing any of the vegetative life out there. Again, apologies to the community that occurred, it was well-intended, meant to make traversing the area a little bit easier but we’re not supposed to be doing that.” 

Ruscitti said the town is in the process of addressing those issues.