Friday, November 5, 2010
Conservation Commission shorts, October 28
• Foss Farm Land Use Permits. This season the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) is, for the first time, requiring land-use permits for both established and new activities at Foss Farm. Approvals given this year include, for example, the Old North Bridge Hounds, Old North Bridge Pony Club and the U.S. Forest Service (for a burrowing wasp study).
At the October 28 ConsCom meeting Cub Scout Pack 135 was granted a permit for a model rocket launching event to be held on Saturday, November 6. Scout James Sibley of 376 Cross Street appeared with his father, Richard, to describe the annual event, and how the rockets are built, set up and fired. Pack 135 is part of the Model Rocketing Association and follows FAA guidelines. Each of about 60 rockets will be fired twice. They typically travel 100 to 200 feet, then parachute to the ground.
A permit was also approved for sled-dog training during the upcoming season. Chair Kelly Guarino explained that over the past two years the commission has worked to maintain the historic uses of Foss Farm and also be a good neighbor. She noted that the permit will follow the ConsCom’s 2010 guidelines (See “Conservation Commission approves Foss Farm sled dog guidelines,” Mosquito, April 28.) It will be issued to the individual trainers/families who will be using the land and addresses where to park to minimize noise, snow plowing and compatibility with cross-country skiing.
• Koning Farm Road, Lot 3. Lemonias Development Company was granted an Amended Order of Conditions (permit) for the construction of a house and associated activity in the 100-foot Buffer Zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland. The work (at Map 17, Parcel 17A Lot 3) includes a well, drywells, retaining walls and grading. Representing the applicant, George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary Engineering explained that the changes lessen the impact – the house will be smaller (3,600 square feet) with the structure moved out of the Buffer Zone, and there will be less grading than under the previous plan.
• 81 Craigie Circle. The ConsCom approved a permit for homeowner Catherine Cole to construct a deck and to undertake a landscaping project near Page’s Brook. The public hearing had been continued pending an evaluation of the work’s impact on rare species habitat from the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. This had been received and indicated the work would not affect the wetland resource area or be considered a “taking” under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.
• Benfield Land wetlands. At several recent ConsCom meetings Alan Carpenito of 493 South Street voiced his belief that there may have been past wetlands violations on the now town-owned Benfield Land off South Street. At the commission’s request he submitted his concerns in writing. According to his document, the work took place in 2003 at the time the town was considering purchasing the land. It included bringing in crushed stone to fill a mud road, excavating and moving a “huge boulder,” and knocking down “mature trees.” Carpenito wrote: “I would like to know if the actions that took place were legal.” Guarino said the ConsCom will look into whether there is a procedure for following up on this request.
• Emergency work. The board approved an Emergency Certificate at 28 Concord Street to allow homeowners Diane Sills and Emily Williams to begin construction of a footing under the back of their antique barn. Work to replace a sill revealed there was no existing footing – just boulders. Completion of the work will be included in an expected permit request to add a room onto the house. At its October 14 meeting the ConsCom ratified an Emergency Certificate issued to Kathleen Coyle at 125 Maple Street for removal of an old willow tree that was badly damaged in a recent storm and posed a safety hazard. In both cases work is proposed in a wetland buffer zone. ∆
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