Zoning Issues at 4 Bartlett Street, Webster
By Janet Stoica
Tree removal equipment, an illegal retaining wall, and zoning enforcement of property located behind the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Afro Fusion Restaurant on South Main Street in Webster have been the focus of the town’s Building Inspector and town attorneys. According to public documents, the property owner of 4 Bartlett Street, Nathan Lebaron, runs a tree removal business and asserts that the company’s profits are used to support a Church of the Firstborn of which he lists himself as President.
Public documents also state that most of the property at 4 Bartlett Street is located within a multifamily residential-zoned district where commercial uses are not permitted. When complaints were made in 2022 the town inspected the property and found that the owner was using the property for a commercial logging and tree business with multiple trucks and trailers stored on the property in violation of zoning laws. Letters were sent about the violations. Further inspection revealed that the owner was constructing a large retaining wall which was abutting the neighboring property. The construction required engineering plans along with a building permit which were never submitted nor applied for. The building inspector issued a cease of construction order which was not complied with.
Following a court hearing, the December 27, 2023 order of the Worcester Superior Court states that Mr. Lebaron must remove the construction of the fence and retaining wall and restore the wall to its prior condition within 60 days of the court order. Mr. Lebaron must also cease and desist from the operation of any business including the use of heavy machinery, trailers, and land equipment on the multifamily residentially-zoned property within 30 days of the court order. Additionally, Mr. Lebaron’s motion for a preliminary injunction was denied.
Webster’s Building Inspector, Ted Tetreault, will now monitor the timeframes for compliance with the court order.