Friday, May 21, 2010
ConsCom shorts, May 13
• Curve Street Dam Repair. The Conservation Commission (ConsCom) approved $3,800 on May 13 for inspection of the small dam next to Curve Street where water flows out of the Cranberry Bog. The state Office of Dam Safety had ordered the inspection after classifying the dam as both a “significant hazard” and “non-agricultural.” (See Mosquito, State wants Curve Street dam inspection, February 5, 2010.) Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard reported that Town Counsel has advised undertaking the inspection and asking the inspector to make a recommendation as to the status of the dam. The ConsCom might then seek reclassification. This dam, which helps control water levels within the bog, has been modernized and maintained by Cranberry Bog farmer Mark Duffy.
• Foss Farm. Vice Chair Kelly Guarino, who chaired the meeting, indicated that she had received a memo from the Board of Selectmen (at right) regarding sled dog training at Foss Farm. There was little discussion, as the rest of the commission had not yet had the opportunity to review it. Chair Peter Burn later commented, “The Conservation Commission has attempted to find a solution that is fair to both abuttors and to traditional users of Foss Farm, and we shall continue in this effort.”
• 271 Russell Street. The ConsCom ratified an Emergency Certificate that Willard had issued to Kenneth Martinian to enable repair of his septic system. The recent heavy storms caused a fire pond across the road to overflow, which caused severe erosion around the house foundation and damage to the septic system. Willard showed photos of the foundation damage and substantial eroded material in the adjacent wetland. The commission left open the question of responsibility for the damage, whether the wetland alteration should be considered human-induced or from natural causes, and whether the alteration should be remediated.
• 38 Prospect Street. The ConsCom closed the public hearing and denied a permit to Thomas and Barbara Bjornson for removal of approximately 60 trees in the 100-foot Buffer Zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland. The board determined that the information submitted with the Notice of Intent was inadequate to assure protection of the wetlands. When the hearing was opened more than a year ago, Thomas Bjornson presented a plan to remove the trees – some near the house that posed safety problems, and others to create lawn.
A report prepared by Willard at the time said the plan “lacks topography, (wetland) flag numbers and is unstamped.” Willard said that the applicants have consistently failed to respond to the board’s requests for an appropriate plan and detail. The ConsCom had issued an Enforcement Order in late summer 2008 when trees were being cut on the property without a permit. Ultimately a few trees of greatest concern were allowed to be removed in connection with the order. Along with the permit denial the board revised its Enforcement Order to include removal of one additional tree near the house that had not been properly located on the plan. ∆
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