Friday, November 26, 2010
ConsCom eyes plan for Maple St. 40B
Approves Chestnut Estates Lots 2, 4, 5 and 7
Yongdeng Chen came before the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on November 18 for advice on how his plan to build 11 units of housing on Lot 6, Maple Street, might impact the nearby wetlands. The four-acre parcel has 40 feet of legal frontage between 811 and 845 Maple Street, while an easement from Red Fox Drive allows access to a single-family home, but not multiple dwellings.
Because the project exceeds the single home allowed under local zoning, it would be filed as a comprehensive permit application under the state statute Chapter 40B. He has not filed for a 40B permit yet, though he has discussed the plan with the Selectmen and the Housing Authority (see “Maple Street landowner describes 40B housing proposal,” August, 2009).
The plan calls for construction of a driveway off Maple Street, with a 50-foot bridge to span a stream that crosses the narrow access strip. Several abutters shared concerns that the proposed bridge would worsen already high levels of seasonal flooding. The applicant’s wetland consultant, Brian Butler of Oxbow Associates, said that if part of the floodplain were filled in building the bridge, they would excavate an equal area elsewhere to maintain the floodplain’s water storage capacity.
The commission agreed that a development on that lot would fall under the jurisdiction of the Wetland Protection Act and local wetlands bylaw. The ConsCom issued a positive Determination of Applicability.
The jurisdiction of the commission focused only on potential impacts to the wetlands, limiting the ConsCom’s ability to address noise issues raised by abutters to the Chestnut Estates conservation cluster at 400 Rutland Street. Public hearings were completed for the four house lots which are slated to include work near wetlands. The ConsCom approved Notices of Intent for Lots 2, 4, 5 and 7 and issued standard Orders of Conditions for each lot.
The plan calls for a total of seven houses (six new) on 25 acres (Map35, Parcels 24 and 26.) The project qualifies as a conservation cluster because about eight acres will be deeded to the town for conservation land.
George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary Engineering presented the plans on behalf of applicant Rainbow Builders. On Lot 2 a section of the drive and grading for the house and septic system will be in the 100-foot wetland buffer zone. Utilities will come in along the drive. On Lot 4 Dimakarakos said that there will be part of the driveway, utilities, grading for the septic system and part of the side yard in the buffer zone. For Lot 5, grading for the house, drive, well and yard is in the buffer zone. A drywell and part of the house will be in the buffer zone on Lot 7. In all cases, the closest area of work will be 50 feet from the wetlands.
Noise concerns unresolved
Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard had received a letter from an abutter concerned about high levels of noise. Neighbors have also complained to the Board of Health (see “BOH confers with DP, builder on noise issue,” October 8). However, Willard said that blasting, ledge removal, hoe ramming and other loud work was not for the most part in the buffer zone and therefore not under ConsCom review.
Abutter John Bakewell of Rutland Street said, “I think there’re two things going on – using a hoe-ram on monolithic ledge day after day, like 40 or 50 hours a week. There’s also a lot of rock processing going on, pounding big rocks into little rocks.”
Dimakarakos said that the town would need a local noise bylaw to control it. Alan Carpenito of South Street agreed, “It’s a bylaw issue. In the town of Brookline, you aren’t allowed to use leaf blowers unless it meets the decibel limit, so there is a precedent in other towns.”
28 Concord Street
An Emergency Certificate had been issued in October, to allow construction of a replacement footing for the barn. Homeowner Emily Williams presented a Notice of Intent for the barn repair, as well as plans for a small addition onto the house. Commissioner Jenifer Bush recused herself as an abutter.
Because of the wetlands on the property, Williams had been encouraged to look ahead and ask about any future improvements she might want to make. As a result, Williams had added landscaping details to the plan and asked whether the commission would allow post holes in the wetland, for placement of a wooden stockade fence by the road. Chair Kelly Guarino said that she did not have a concern with the fence, however Commissioner Peter Burn was not comfortable with the idea of digging post holes in the wetland. Guarino advised Williams to bring back more information on the proposed fence. The hearing was continued to December 2 at 8:15 p.m.
The commission issued a Certificate of Compliance to Stephen and Jacqueline Hamilton at 230 Concord Street for completion of a project to replace a stone retaining wall within 100-feet of wetlands. A Certificate of Compliance was also issued for the installation of a sports court and landscaping near wetlands at 155 Woodridge Road. ∆
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