Friday, May 22, 2009
ConsCom shorts, May 14
• Fox Hill irrigation well. The Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on May 14 approved the installation of a shallow well to support the organic agricultural project on the upper portion of the Fox Hill Conservation Land. John Bakewell has a license to farm the area through December 1, 2011. Bakewell and Kevin Brown are growing vegetables and fruit trees on the 1.3-acre west section of the parcel. The well will incorporate either 3-5 inch diameter PVC pipe in a hole dug with a post-hole digger and the pump submersed, or a driven point using a smaller stainless steel pipe lined with PVC.
The well will be located in a substrate of loamy sand. Bakewell and Brown plan to install solar panels to power the pump, with a battery as a backup, and to increase the above ground water storage capacity to 500 gallons. Prior to the vote, Tom Brownrigg expressed concern about the loss of wildlife habitat as trees and brush are removed to restore the historic edge of the field – especially removal of species that provide food for birds. Commissioner Jenifer Bush noted that the management plan for Fox Hill indicates the parcel might be used for crops requiring irrigation.
• Hanover Hill, Lot 7, Hanover Road. George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary, on behalf of Wilkins Hill Realty, presented the second project for an individual house in the new subdivision off Westford Street. A small corner of the house, as well as the driveway, associated grading and utilities, lie in a wetland buffer zone. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard suggested the plan be revised to retain or relocate an old stone wall to define the limit of alteration on the steep slope between the house and the wetlands. The Commission is still awaiting an analysis of a nearby potential vernal pool from consultant David Crossman of B & C Associates. The hearing was continued until May 28 at 8:15 p.m.
• 38 Prospect Street. At the continuation of the public hearing, applicants Thomas and Barbara Bjornson appeared relative to their desire to remove approximately 60 trees within the 100-foot buffer zone of a bordering vegetated wetland. The Commission had issued an enforcement order in September 2008 stopping un-permitted cutting in that area.
The Bjornsons wish to take down some trees for safety reasons and others to increase the amount of sunlight, as well as create lawn, play and garden areas. Their house was built prior to the passage of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. The Commission decided to amend the enforcement order to allow the removal of a few specific trees for safety reasons. The Bjornsons were asked to revise their plan to include site elevations and locations of proposed design elements, and to provide a planting plan. The hearing was continued until September 10 at 8:30 p.m.
• 41 Patten Lane. Jonathan Bollan, of Stamski and McNary, represented Mehdi Khayami at a continued public hearing, relative to the homeowner’s request for a permit to build two additions to his house which is located in the wetland buffer zone. In connection with this project, the commission will require that an area where rocks were spread in wetland be restored and portions of a pool fence moved out of wetland. Willard reported that the building inspector is concurrently requiring that the pool fence be brought up to code. A landscaping plan is also still needed. The hearing was continued to June 18 at 8:30 p.m. ∆
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