Friday, October 22, 2010
ConsCom shorts, October 14
• 81 Craigie Circle. The Conservation Commission (ConsCom) heard a request on October 14 from homeowner Catherine Cole for a permit to construct a deck and undertake a landscaping project near Page’s Brook. Stamski and McNary engineer George Dimakarakos presented the project. The filing was subsequent to a “cooperative” Enforcement Order that had been issued in August. Cole, who was new to Massachusetts and unaware that a permit was required, had stockpiled soil on the site. The ConsCom indicated satisfaction with the project design and landscaping plan. The proposed work is in rare-species habitat and the board is awaiting an evaluation of the work’s impact from the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. The public hearing was continued to October 28 at 8 p.m.
• Koning Farm Road, Lot 3. The public hearing for Lemonias Development Company’s request to amend its permit for construction of a house and associated work in the buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland was postponed until October 28. This was due to an error in the published legal notice. The applicant concurred with the postponement. The time will be listed when the notice is republished.
• Hartwell Road tree removal. Neighbors Amy and Christopher Coloian of number 61 and Deborah Van Walsum of number 63 presented proposals to remove ten and seven trees, respectively. The trees are at the edge of cleared areas around their homes and are located in the 100-foot buffer zone of a bordering vegetated wetland. The neighbors have seen them sway severely in high winds. Concurring that the trees present hazards, the ConsCom approved both projects.
• Great Brook Path. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard reported that removal of a small stand of Phragmites australis (Common Reed) in the drainage system of the subdivision road off Rutland Street has essentially been completed. In 2008 applicant Betsy Goldenberg had hired specialist John Bakewell of Carlisle to undertake the eradication, and set aside funds to cover the work. Bakewell has indicated that he will remove any remaining plants as a volunteer next spring. The ConsCom approved release of the funds. • Old North Bridge Hounds. The Conservation Commission (ConsCom) unanimously approved the Old North Bridge Hounds Club’s request to use Foss Farm for exercise and training through January, 2011. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard explained at the October 14 meeting that there would typically be six to eight people, 10 to 14 dogs, and occasionally a horse present, with up to three sessions per week. To not interfere with each other’s activities, they have coordinated times with the Old North Bridge Pony Club, which was also recently granted a land-use permit. In discussing the Hounds Club’s permit Willard indicated, “They understand the business of dogs barking.”
• Truck Access over Fox Hill. Matthew Foti of Foti Landscape and Tree Service in Lexington asked to haul about four truckloads of wood chips across the Fox Hill Conservation Land for a landscaping project on the McDonough property at 46 Stearns Street. Foti explained that the mulch is destined for some “unusual” five to six foot conifers he is planting. He said there is no other access without destroying a large magnolia tree or going over the septic system. Entering via Fox Hill would require temporarily dismantling about ten feet of a mostly crumbled stone wall and removing some buckthorn plants. Willard indicated that Foti has provided a certificate of liability.
Chair Kelly Guarino said: “This is a new thought – accessing a private project through ConsCom land.” She then said this did not mean she objected. Following discussion centered around avoiding damage to Fox Hill, the board approved Foti’s request. The work was scheduled for the week of October 18.
• Great Brook Farm manure storage. The ConsCom addressed a memo from the Board of Health relative to two complaints received about odor and flies at an area where farmer Mark Duffy stores cow manure from Great Brook Farm. The site is across from the Cranberry Bog House on Curve Street. Guarino clarified that while the Board of Health handles manure-stockpiling issues, the relevance to the ConsCom is that the site is town conservation land and near a small stream.
Willard said she has talked with Duffy who indicated he is no longer transporting manure to the site. It is now going directly to the properties where he grows corn – such as Foss Farm and Hutchins Farm in Concord. He said he has ordered the milking robot for his new barn (see “New barn takes shape at Great Brook Farm State Park, June 18, 2009). When it arrives he will be moving the cows in, and manure will thereafter go into a new USDA-approved composting system. Willard also said that while no runoff is occurring from the site to a nearby stream, Duffy will install a siltation barrier if that is likely. ∆
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