Conservation Commission hears plan for Woodward Village wells
The plan for the proposed Woodward Village project includes 18 homes and public parking for a trail leading to conservation land. It is to be the first project built under the town’s Residential Open Space Community (ROSC) Bylaw. Restrictions on siting the wells have led to a reduction in the total number of
bedrooms from 55 to 44. (Map adapted by Marjorie Johnson)
The plan for two public water supply wells for the proposed Woodward Village Residential Open Space Community (ROSC) was presented to the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on November 15.
The applicant is Dan Gainsboro, NOW Communities, LLC. Gainsboro described the overall project, noting this permit application will “kick off the approval process” for the 18-unit development off Bedford Road. The filing is the first under the ROSC Zoning Bylaw adopted at the Special Town Meeting in October 2017.
A Memorandum of Understanding among the town, landowners Bill Woodward and his sister, Carol Doutriaux, and the developer provides that 32 acres of the 41. 9-acre Woodward Meadow parcel become town conservation land once local permits are in place. The project design includes community gardens and an easement providing public access to the conservation portion and public trails.
Gainsboro said that an abutter to the south on Bedford Road has allowed access to the well site via an existing cart path off her driveway. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard asked if this is a path used for sled dog training. The response was that they would be clearing some trees that are overgrowing part of the path; this would be beneficial if it is so used. At the well site they would cut into a hill to create a level area for the well drilling equipment. The topsoil removed will be stockpiled and the area regraded and seeded following drilling. Ultimately, the wells and pump station would be accessed from within the development.
Donald Provencher of Provencher Engineering said that the Woodward Village concept was revised from 55 to 44 bedrooms to reduce the Zone 1 radius of public water supply wells, which must be entirely on the property. The wells would be 50 feet apart, each with a 158-foot Zone 1 radius.
Commissioner Ken Belitz asked what the pumping rate will be. Provencher said three gallons per minute from each well, with the water pumped into a 10,000 gallon storage tank. This would provide a two-day supply.
Willard asked for details of the pump test. Provencher said the 48-hour test would be simultaneous for both wells. The water would be discharged downgradient into the wetland several hundred feet from the site so there is minimal chance it would recirculate back into the well site. Commissioner Dan Wells asked, “What is the wetland like?” Willard said that she had not been out there for a while, but said the wetland is “beautiful” and “important.”
Willard asked how common it is to pump to a wetland. Provencher said it was done at Garrison Place. Typically plywood is laid down and the water allowed to flow over it. Six gallons per minute would be pumped from each well for the test.
Willard explained that an Order of Resource Area Delineation approving the wetland boundaries on the site was issued on January 21, 2016. Good for three years, it will soon expire. She recommended that the applicant seek an extension.
Belitz asked what the MassDEP approval process is for the wells. Provencher said they have received a Site Exam Approval that confirms the well locations. The next step is to drill the well and conduct the pump test—during which they would collect water samples. When tested, the samples will indicate whether any treatment is needed. Then they would design the permanent wells, the pump station, storage system, etc. and submit those to MassDEP with the pump test report. It will probably be several months from submission of the designs until they have approval of the final plans and can start drilling.
The ConsCom decided to schedule a site visit. A MassDEP file number is still needed. The public hearing was continued to December 13 at 7:15 p.m. ∆