butterflies and developers

jhimmel at comcast.net jhimmel at comcast.net
Wed Apr 9 08:48:59 EDT 2008

Richard, and anyone else interested.

I was the one who referred them to you - I figured if they were Henry's, and
in your area, you'd know about them.  Oddly, I was originally told it was
some kind of schinia moth they needed to check for.  Then a week later, they
called back and said it was ol' Henry.

You're right about the inability of a listed species to stop a development
(think Rentschler's Field).  But, a State-listed butterfly can cause a bit
of trouble for those wishing to develop a parcel, providing there is a
probability (as opposed to possibility) that the activity will threaten the
population.  But that "trouble" would ultimately come from the Town land use
agencies, as opposed to the DEP.  In most cases, the DEP just makes
recommendations to P&Z and Inland Wetland commissions.  However, that
"probability", gives the land use agencies a strong legal backing should the
applicant challenge them in court.  That makes it easier for them to
consider steps to protect the species.

I think the ultimate goal of the surveyor would be to make the P&Z aware of
any populations, should be be found, for the purpose of steering the
development away from it.  Maybe a portion could be put into open space, or
mitigation (blech...) can take place - the latter, I guess, being better
than nothing.

And personally, I think it would be better to have someone looking for them
who is "biased" toward wanting to preserve this species,  than someone
looking for them who is biased toward just wanting to streamline the


John Himmelman
Killingworth, CT
jhimmel at comcast.net

Visit my websites at:

  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-ctleps-l at lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-ctleps-l at lists.yale.edu]On Behalf Of RChyinski at aol.com
  Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 7:27 AM
  To: ctleps-l at lists.yale.edu
  Subject: butterflies and developers

  My post about the Henry's Elfin survey has prompted quiet a few responses
and I am interested in what the consensus is about doing the survey.

  Recap: A developer has proposed, and I think received preliminary approval
to build houses on land in East Lyme. (Having been away for 2 months I am
just now getting up to date on this). When I left the approval had been
  Someone (DEP, local boards, neighborhood opposition ??) determined that a
population of a CT listed butterfly, Henry's Elfin, was nearby and requested
that a survey be done on the proposed development land to see if the
butterfly existed there.

  The question is; should a butterflier/environmentalist do the survey for
the developer in hopes of finding the butterfly and either delaying or at
least making it more difficult, expensive for the developer to proceed or
just say no to the request for the survey?

  I am not  familiar with CT law on listed species vs. development but I do
not think a listed species can completely stop a development from

  I am a bit biased on this. I own the land where the Henry's is, which is
about 1/4 mile from the development land,  and I am most definitely not in
favor of the housing development.

  Rich Chyinski

  Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel Guides.
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