Friday, May 18, 2007
Shorts from the Conservation Commission, May 10
· Hearing closed on Rutland Street Project. At a continued public hearing, Engineer Peter Howe, representing the John Raymond Brown Trust, confirmed last minute changes made to plans for the six-unit Chestnut Estates Conservation Cluster. The application covered a common driveway with wetland crossings, wetland replication areas, a fire cistern and associated clearing and grading, most of which had already been agreed upon.
The relatively minor additions included limit-of-work indicators on the map of record, width specifications for town easement paths and the identification of plants proposed for major landscaping. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard recommended more dense planting in the wetland replacement areas in order to discourage invasive species, and commissioners stressed that she should be alerted before any work begun near a vernal pool.
Commissioners complimented the development team for their diligence in working with concerned abutters and keeping the board informed at each step in the process. Terming the result "a very good plan," they closed the public hearing.
· Scout Project at Towle Field. Eagle Badge Candidate Jimmy Burnham submitted a proposal for construction of a new trail from the Towle Field parking lot to a rock feature that resembles a turtle and is believed to be sacred to Native Americans. The new pathway would connect two existing trails, one official and one unofficial. Although it would run close to a stream, he did not believe it would cause any additional wetland disturbance, a contention supported by a full set of color photographs.
Before undertaking any clearing, Burnham plans to hold further discussions with Doug Harris, Senior Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett Tribe, and Land Stewardship Committee member Tim Fohl. As for the exact contours and construction techniques, Burnham will consult regularly with Trails Committee member Ed Lamere. Pending signoff by the Native Americans and submission of detailed construction plans, he received an okay to move forward.
· 486 Autumn Lane. Stamski and McNary Engineer Joe March presented a Notice of Intent to build an addition to a home belonging to Leon and Michelle Small, realignment of the driveway and associated grading, all taking place within the 100-foot buffer zone of a wetland. It was recognized that some work might extend to within five feet of the resource area, but March planned an infiltration trench to prevent silt-laden water from reaching it. At the suggestion of Commissioner Tricia Smith, he agreed to add a special removable fabric to prevent clogging. Following an appeal for preservation of a hemlock tree, the commissioners closed the public hearing and issued a standard order of conditions.
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