Friday, November 28, 2008
ConsCom shorts, November 20
The Conservation Commission (ConsCom) met in the Clark Room at Town Hall on November 20. When Commissioner Tricia Smith was the last to arrive, ConsCom Administrator Sylvia Willard noted that Smith had been temporarily detained; “something about being run over by one of her goats.” Smith arrived safely, however, and the commission transacted the following business:
• Request to harvest sap from Towle Land maples. The commission’s action on a request to tap trees on the Towle Land was to pass the request on to the Land Stewardship Committee and ask for a recommendation about the trees’ fitness for tapping. Discussion ensued about whether the trees are large and healthy enough to be tapped, and if they are, whether tapping might be more of a community effort. Jenifer Bush, the commission’s liaison to the Land Stewardship Committee, will take the request and the commission’s questions to that group.
• Beaver control. The commission signed an emergency permit for beaver control on Brook Street and Maple Street as requested by David Reed of 90 Page Brook Road. He had previously gone before the Board of Health and ConsCom for permission to place water-level control devices, which are tubes, usually with cages constructed around them to prevent beavers from blocking them. After the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program had given approval, the commission also endorsed the plan.
• 500 West Street. The ConsCom approved a Certificate of Compliance for the installation of a new septic system at 500 West Street.
• 57 Maple Street. An Extension Permit for two years was granted to the owner of the property at 57 Maple Street to develop a lot, including a wetland crossing and replication area. Discussion about when the work might be completed led to the information that the work is complete, including septic design, wetland flagging, replication of wetland and culvert, and the only remaining task is to finish the fill work. No septic and no construction is planned by the present owner.
The commission requested the owner, Erik Morrison, to get guidance on when to do heavy grading. Because part of the area is deemed a possible priority habitat for Blandings Turtles, Morrison was also asked to get the advice and review of Natural Heritage in completing the work. The applicant accepted these conditions. The commission noted that if the work is not finished at the end of the granted extension, Morrison must then refile.
• 542 Bedford Road driveway work action, observed going on next to the Davis Corridor, may be in wetlands. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard recommends flagging the wetlands and then having the owners come in to discuss their project with the commission. The group decided to send a letter first to inform the owners of possible wetlands disturbance, and ask them to meet with the commission. If they refuse, the ConsCom will send an enforcement order.
• 62 Hart Farm Road. Thomas and Patricia Brigiotta of 62 Hart Farm Road requested a plan change for the construction of a paved pathway and swing set on their property and the commission’s guidance on how to proceed. They were initially quite surprised that they needed permission to build these items on their property. “I blame the real estate agents. Somebody should tell new homeowners how much you can use of the two acres you have,” Brigiotta said. The plan change is to redirect the pathway, with the same square footage not extending past the house, and place the swing set within sight of the house’s kitchen. The swing set will have untreated landscape lumber around it and would be filled with pea gravel. Recommending that the Brigiottas use arsenic-free pressure-treated alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) landscape timbers, the commission approved these field changes.
• 984 West Street. The commission conducted a public hearing of a Request for Determination at 984 West Street. The applicant, James Davis, reported that the part of the stone wall permitted by the commission is finished and that he would now like to finish the rest of the wall and remove invasive vegetation. He proposes to put in a temporary pipe to redirect water to the bottom of the ditch. He said his goal is to get the wall built in manageable segments that will have no impact on the 100-foot buffer zone in which he is working or upon the wetlands. The plan for this season is to get the base of the wall in place to stabilize everything and build the rest of it later. The commission asked for audience input. Hearing none, the hearing was closed and Davis was granted a Negative Determination of Applicability subject to the condition that the application will include stages of construction and what planting will be done upon completion of the project.
• 383 and 389 River Road. The ConsCom continued a public hearing of a Notice of Intent dealing with the restoration of the border of a vegetated wetland and 100-foot buffer zone spanning two properties at 383 and 389 River Road.
Luciano Manganella lives at 383 River Road, David Campbell at 389. The August 5 edition of the Mosquito reports that Manganella, in an effort to get rid of ice buildup on his portion of their common driveway, did considerable tree removal, grading, planted lawn and built a retaining wall. This was unpermitted construction within a buffer zone of the Concord River, and it diverted silt-laden water into the wetland as well as extending the wall construction onto Campbell’s land. The silt-laden water was also flowing onto land under a 5.4-acre conservation restriction. ConsCom issued an enforcement order at that time stopping the work and placing the onus of repairs onto Manganella. They also directed Manganella and Campbell to come to an agreement about a plan to eradicate the ice without violating any ConsCom-jurisdiction wetlands regulations. This was supposed to happen by September.
At the meeting last Thursday, a representative of the engineering firm Stamski and McNary presented Manganella’s current plan to clean out the sediment from the wetland and buffer zone by hand, stabilize the area with straw mulch and then plant it with grass seed and mulch during planting season. Stamski and McNary recommend regular inspections and cleaning of the catch basin and swale.
However, Manganella said he had talked with Campbell about the plan and Campbell said he had not agreed to it. Discussion of work already done and communications between neighbors became somewhat rancorous. They are pretty much at an impasse, so ConsCom directed them to come back to the next meeting with an agreed-upon plan or more enforcement orders will go out to protect the wetlands and buffer zone and they will not have a choice as to what to do. The continued hearing is on the agenda for the December 4 ConsCom meeting at 8:30 p.m. ∆
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