Unauthorized monument turns heads in Warren

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It's no plaque, that's for sure.

Town and Warren Land Conservation Trust officials are trying to figure out what to do about a large granite monument recently installed without permission on Land Trust property by the man who donated the land to the town in the first place earlier this year.

The large granite marker, six or seven feet wide and five feet tall, was installed at the end of Kelly Street last week by John Pesce, who donated the 14 acres of waterfront land on which it sits in memory of his father of the same name. Months ago, trust president Marilyn Mathison gratefully accepted Mr. Pesce's donation of the land, agreeing at the time to grant his request to install a "plaque" there in honor of his late father.

"I expected a plaque, not that," Ms. Mathison said Tuesday.

Worse, she said, the monument reads "John Pesce Memorial Park."

"I don't like the idea of calling it a park," she said. "It's open space; I'm also worried that calling it a park is going to affect (the trust's) insurance."

Ms. Mathison heard of the monument Friday, after several residents took notice and called Warren building and zoning official Bill Nash. In an e-mail to Ms. Mathison, Mr. Nash said the placement of the monument within 200 feet of the water brings it under the jurisdiction of the state's Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC); he suggested Ms. Mathison call the agency to let them know about the unauthorized installation.

Ms. Mathison contacted the agency Tuesday morning, and from here will hold a trust meeting to see what should be done about the monument. She'll keep CRMC apprised of the outcome, and the agency may retroactively approve its installation if the trust so desires — if CRMC rules were followed in its installation.

But Ms. Mathison doesn't know if trust members will go that way.

"I didn't think this was going to be a six-foot tall granite boulder," she said.

Mr. Pesce could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

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metacomment

Why do people insist on naming land after themselves? There were people on this land for 12,000 years before them, and there will be people on this land for thousands of years after.

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