Friday, February 12, 2010
ConsCom asked to okay Benfield wetlands boundaries
At its January 28 meeting the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) granted a request that the approval of the wetlands boundary on the town’s Benfield Land remain valid for an additional six months. The request was filed by the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH), the developer planning to construct 26 units of senior affordable rental housing on the town’s property on South Street. NOAH’s representative, civil engineer Mark Beaudry, sought a second extension of the Order of Resource Area Delineation (ORAD) that confirmed the boundaries of the bordering vegetated wetlands on Parcel A, the site of the proposed housing. The ORAD had been issued in 2003, extended once, and was set to expire January 29, 2010.
Because numerous boundary flags were missing the ConsCom was unable to confirm whether the line had changed. Beaudry presented a map overlaying the 2003 line on a 2008 MassGIS photo, and said he saw little change. The ConsCom concurred and granted a six-month extension of the ORAD – until June 29.
However, before a issuing a permit for the project, the board will require written confirmation that the boundaries are unchanged or any revisions to the line are documented in the field as required by the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations. In addition to rechecking the boundaries of the bordering vegetated wetlands the applicant still needs to determine the boundaries of the riverfront areas on Parcels A and D before the project can move forward. All agreed this work is best done in the spring.
The ConsCom also responded to NOAH’s request for a waiver of Carlisle’s portion of the Wetlands Protection Act filing fees as well as those paid under the Carlisle Wetlands Bylaw. The board decided to advise the Selectmen against this because of the substantial costs to the ConsCom for review and subsequent monitoring of the project.
Other wetlands hearings
• 173 Rockland Road. The ConsCom opened a public hearing on Sharyl and Scott Stropkay’s request for a permit to install a new sewage disposal system and well, and to repave their driveway. George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary Engineering represented the applicants. The ConsCom concluded that the project is designed in compliance with state and local wetlands regulations. However, a permit cannot be issued until a file number is received from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It had been two weeks since the permit request was filed. The hearing was continued to February 11 at 7:50 p.m.
• 784 North Road. At its previous meeting the ConsCom had been unable to approve a permit for homeowners Margery and Edgar Berube to remove 18 trees in the wetland buffer zone due solely to lack of the DEP file number. The board saw this as a safety issue because a number of large trees had already fallen on the family’s buildings and vehicles. Because the file number had still not been issued, the ConsCom continued the hearing until February 11 at 8:30 p.m.
• 38 Prospect Street. The continued public hearing for Barbara and Thomas Bjornson’s proposal to remove approximately 60 trees in the buffer zone and extend a lawn was continued to May 13 at 8:30 p.m. The permit request was filed with the ConsCom subsequent to a September 2008 Enforcement Order issued for illegal tree removal near wetlands. The public hearing began in April 2009, was continued initially as the ComCom awaited appropriate plans and stabilization measures, and since last May at the request of the Bjornsons. The ConsCom indicated that this could be the last extension it grants. ∆
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