Warner, Webster to inspect Azmy farm again
The long process of the lawsuit filed by the towns of Warner and Webster against local farmer Gamil Azmy will continue with another inspection.
Warner Town Administrator Jim Bingham said attorney Barton Mayer, the lawyer representing both towns in this case, is working to schedule that inspection in the next week or two.
“We are trying to have an inspection date scheduled as soon as we can prior to the snow falling so we can have an accurate read as to what Mr. Azmy’s been able to do or not been able to do,” Bingham said. “We certainly don’t want to drag it on too long.”
In May 2011, Azmy and his wife, Lois, reached a settlement agreement with the towns that outlined how they should store equipment and maintain their farm, which crosses into both Warner and Webster. Neighbors and town officials have compared the property to a junkyard, complaining that debris and machinery on the farm violate town ordinances.
In June 2012, a superior court judge found the couple in violation of their settlement agreement and ordered them to clean up their 18-acre property on Route 103 East. The Azmys appealed that decision to the state Supreme Court and lost in May 2013.
In September, Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara set Nov. 15 as the latest deadline for the Azmys to come into compliance with their settlement agreement. If they could not do so, the judge ordered the towns could clean up the property at the landowners’ expense.
“If the towns find it necessary to enter onto the property to enforce compliance with the court’s order, (the Azmys) shall be responsible for all costs of enforcement, and the costs shall be a lien upon the property,” the judge wrote in September.
The couple could also face more than $29,000 in fines for violating their settlement. They petitioned for abatement of those fines, but McNamara has not yet ruled on that request.
Two selectmen from each town and Mayer conducted an inspection on the property last month, Bingham said.
“There’s a number of materials, piles of materials and pieces of small equipment that were still lying about that need to be put under permanent structures according to the agreement,” Bingham said.
Neither Azmy nor his attorney could be reached for comment.
“Mr. Azmy has had plenty of time to go into compliance, so this is the opportunity to see if he has been able to do that or not,” Bingham said.
(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)