Friday, July 31, 2009
Conservation Commission shorts, July 16
Peter Burn assumed his new role as chair of the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) and began the July 16 meeting by initiating several Certificates of Compliance (COCs) for completed work:
• 100 Stoney Gate Road. Originally issued in 1978, the Order of Conditions for construction of a roadway, driveways and associated drainage was quickly determined to deserve a Certificate of Compliance and the commission voted 5-0 in favor.
• 123 Elizabeth Ridge Road. Construction of a roadway and common driveways, including wetland crossings and replication areas, has been completed to the commission’s satisfaction. This Order of Conditions was originally issued in 1986 when the Elizabeth Ridge project was being developed and is now triggered by sale of the property. Members voted 5-0 to issue a Certificate of Compliance.
• 72 Brook Street. At their April 23 meeting, the commission approved a replacement subsurface sewage disposal system at 72 Brook Street for Susan and Howard Cohn. The applicants were represented by Kevin Ritchie of Civil Solutions. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard recently visited the site and reported that installation of the septic system and construction of a swimming pool is now complete and members voted 5-0 to issue a COC.
• 211 Bellows Hill Road. Peter George appeared before the ConsCom, explaining that he has planted ten trees in one replication area and six trees in another on the property. At a previous meeting, it was determined that two of the four replication areas had not been completed and George hoped that his recent progress will satisfy his obligations. One of the replication areas has sunk and more soil was brought in, with engineer David Crossman monitoring the situation. George already has been issued a partial COC and now, with a new owner to the property, George asked the ConsCom members for a final sign-off. Member Tricia Smith was “really happy with the progress,” and Chair Peter Burn vowed to “try to bring the process to a close.” George was advised to create a 53G account with Finance Director Larry Barton to pay for a wetland scientist to monitor the situation and members voted 5-0 to issue a Certificate of Compliance after the 53G account is established.
New and ongoing projects
• 383 River Road. ComsCom once again took up the issue of work undertaken without a permit by Luciano Manganella, which has damaged bordering vegetated wetland and the adjacent buffer zone on portions of three lots. Manganella has yet to remove the silt material from the buffer zone and has failed to record a ConsCom Order of Conditions with the Registry of Deeds. “Mr. Manganella doesn’t listen to us,” grumbled Chair Peter Burn. After discussing several means of getting Manganella to comply, the commission decided to generate an Enforcement Order detailing what he did not do and asking him to record the Order of Conditions at the Registry, repair the wetland damage, hire a professional wetlands scientist to inspect the areas that were damaged and pay a fine until he files. The fine may be vacated if and when he records the Order.
• 236 Lowell Street. Abrahms, Little-Gill, Loberfield, P.C. filed a Notice of Intent for the installation of an on-site sewage disposal system and associated grading. The existing septic system has failed and Ben Ewing of the engineering firm Stamski and McNary described the replacement plan to the commission for the one-acre parcel. “We went with a “perc rite” [drip dispersal] system which is alternative technology, not a typical system,” said Ewing. Willard suggested that hay bale protection be provided for the vernal pool, but member Tricia Smith observed that the landscape is essentially flat. “I don’t think hay bales are needed,” Smith opined. Members agreed and voted to issue a standard order of conditions with added provision that construction be located 20 feet uphill from the discharge line to the disposal field.
• 501 Lowell Street. Applicant Jill Goldman attended a continued hearing on a Notice of Intent to install a driveway, carport and addition to an existing single-family home. The commission was unable to continue the hearing during their last meeting because they lacked a file number from the Department of Environmental Protection. The number now obtained, Goldman submitted an updated plan with a reduced stockpile area (for excavated material) and demarcation of the wetland edge. There had been some previous discussion on the fate of an old greenhouse on the property. “The greenhouse is full of grapes in the fall,” said Goldman. “I’m not planning on changing it now. If we ever did anything, it would be to build the exact same greenhouse.” Her main emphasis now is on the driveway. “The driveway is necessary before one of my children gets killed.” Members unanimously voted to close the hearing and issue a standard order of conditions, including the revised sketch plan.
• 119 Estabrook Road. Kevin Wells was issued an enforcement order for a wetlands violation after Willard observed truck activity over the Fourth of July weekend. She visited the site and got the landfill work stopped with a cease and desist order. Wells was asked to get the wetlands delineated and then come to a ConsCom meeting to get further direction. Engineer David Crossman has had difficulty delineating the wetland because he cannot get down through the fill. With no vegetation to go by, Crossman has to make borings to check the original soil. “It’s clear that this was an innocent mistake,” said Burn, “but at the same time we have responsibilities under the Wetland Protection Act. We frown upon filling wetland.” Wells was profusely apologetic, but does not think that the fill is actually in the wetland. The commission decided that once Crossman has delineated the wetland boundary, Wells can present a plan that resolves any wetland issues and then present it at the next meeting for ConsCom approval.
• 383 Russell Street. In similar circumstances, contractor Phillip Heidke ran afoul of Willard when his excavator was unloaded in front of her house at 7 a.m. one morning. Upon investigation, it became apparent that the driveway being torn up at 383 Russell Street was partially in the wetland buffer zone. This resulted in an enforcement order for wetlands violation and forced Heidke to install hay bales during a rain and thunder storm. Heidke attended the meeting to explain that the driveway was splitting and crumbling, even though it was only four years old. He apologized and admitted that the oversight was his fault, and ConsCom decided to permit the rest of work under an enforcement order and that appropriate control measures be taken with Willard inspecting the work.
• Next meeting. ConsCom will discuss a response to the Planning Board’s proposed revision to Carlisle’s 40B regulations at their next meeting, scheduled for August 13. ∆
© 2009 The