Friday, September 12, 2008
Conservation Commission shorts, August 28
• Cub Scout rocket launch. As part of a Cub Scout application for permission to hold a rocket launching event at Foss Farm, Steve Golson gave the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) an explanation of model rocketry. The ConsCom granted a permit for the event to be held on September 27 from noon to 4 p.m. A similar event was held last year.
• Ferns Country Store. As part of the Selectmen’s site plan review process, they have asked town boards to comment on the proposal to expand the store (see “BOH gives Ferns preliminary approval for expansion without café,” Mosquito, July 4). The ConsCom agreed that it appears the project is not near wetlands and therefore not within ConsCom jurisdiction.
However, they discussed the implications if the Selectmen waive the $1,000 site review application fee. Schultz said, “I do not like the precedent of waiving fees.” In the past, the site plan review fee was charged to a resident who wished permission to convert a barn to office space and was waived when the Historical Society converted the private residence at the corner of Concord and South Streets into the Heald House museum.
A memo later sent by the ConsCom states, “The Conservation Commission notes that it, like other boards and committees, has been strongly encouraged to collect fees to help compensate the town for professional employee time and expenses incurred by applications under consideration. In this current fiscal climate, the Conservation Commission does not see the need to waive fees for Site Plan Review for a commercial venture.”
• 57 Maple Street. The ConsCom spoke with David Morrison regarding an Enforcement Order to halt landscaping work near wetlands. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard said that the landscaper, Scott Jenney, stopped work promptly when requested. Although the commission issued an order of conditions for the construction of a house in 2002, the land remains vacant and is for sale. Morrison said his intention is to “make the lot more attractive” and he did not know the landscaping was within 100 feet of wetlands and required ConsCom oversight. ConsCom Chair Tom Schultz said, “You make a very common mistake.” He added, “We’ll get you back on the path so you can move forward.”
The commission requested that Morrison re-flag the wetlands and then place haybales or another siltation barrier between the limit of proposed work and the wetlands. In the meantime, he was allowed to grind up the brush that has already been cut.
• 24 Bingham Road. Dr. Lisa Standley from the consulting firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., represented the owner Theodore Mark regarding a Notice of Intent (NOI) for work on a house lot. Permission for the home construction was originally given in 2000, but construction differed somewhat from the approved plan (see “Shorts from the ConsCom, May 22,” Mosquito, May 30). In particular, the garage and driveway were changed and a stone wall was built in the town’s Right of Way for Bingham Road. Standley noted, “The site has been stabilized for five years” and said there had been no alteration of wetlands.
The commission had asked the applicant to discuss the Right of Way issue with the Selectmen, who had agreed to allow the stone wall to remain as long as Mark sent them a letter stating that if the town ever modifies the layout of Bingham Road, the landowners will then move the stones out of the Right of Way. The ConsCom continued the hearing to their next meeting.
• 38 Prospect Street. The ConsCom issued an Enforcement Order to halt tree cutting in the buffer zone within 100 feet of wetlands. The landowners, Barbara and Thomas Bjornson, have been asked to submit a Notice of Intent describing their project by the end of September.
• Lot 4a-1 Cross Street. During a construction project, a temporary culvert was installed within an intermittent stream crossing and the ConsCom issued an Enforcement Order because the culvert was considered inconsistent with the plan of record. It is expected that the final culvert will be delivered and installed soon.
• Certificates of Compliance were issued for the completion of past projects at: 303 Russell Street, two for Lot 1 of Buttrick Lane and 333 Concord Street. ∆
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