Once again, the members of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission met with Shepard Johnson, an attorney representing Robert Ringuette of Leisure Shores Marina.
This third meeting, which is a continuation from two previous meetings, produced little in the way of detailed information from the applicant. Instead, the board received a flow of questions, many of which Johnson had asked at previous appointments. Failing to provide the board with a report from the engineer who had some delineation services for the applicant disappointed members, as did the failure of Johnson to secure an answer from the applicant as to whether he would be amenable to paying up to $5,000 to cover the costs of outside peer review.
There was nearly two hours of discourse between Johnson and the commission members, primarily Chairman Peter Newton and member Bob Rogers. Johnson said that the board was to have provided a scope of work for the applicant. That was submitted to counsel and reviewed. However, in spite of repeatedly being asked about activities taking place at the marina, what the scheduled plans are for the degrading Styrofoam floats, and the potential filling in of wetlands areas, Johnson didn’t answer. Instead he returned to whether or not the board might be overreaching and mentioning again a three-year statue of limitations.
Citing the lack of what he perceived as less than full disclosure due to missing documents, Johnson said it was hard to know what the board wanted or what permits were currently in force. Rogers said that the applicant should have a full set of documents and permits, and that all previous conditions are filed with the Plymouth County Registry, therefore available to Ringuette.
“If you are relying solely on the town [records],” it would be a very tedious and slow process, Rogers said. “Our decision is that we want remediation; your position is you want to carry on business as usual … there are certain prohibitions.”
A permit issued in 1991 appears to confirm limitation of activities, yet an abutter had submitted photographs in 2004 that seemed to show heavy equipment moving soils and filling in wetland areas. Noting possible wetland act violations, Newton said, “it’s the rationale for us asking for outside peer review.” The commission wants to establish historic wetland delineations to either confirm or refute illegal filling.
One major issue that has plagued the residents in the area of the marina for some years has been the continuing deterioration of Styrofoam floats. Johnson said that the applicant has been reviewing economic solutions but hasn’t yet determined the best course of action.
Horace Field, newly retired harbormaster, has attended each of the hearings bringing evidence of the poor condition of the floats. He said, “If anyone wants to see pollution I’ll walk you down to the marsh. That stuff is bleeding off all of the time.” Newton said it was much more than the large pieces, but all the individual pellets that foul the waters and marsh. “The fish and birds eat that stuff,” he added.
Newton said that he needed an answer from Ringuette regarding engaging peer review as noted in General Law 53G.
Johnson said he needed to review all of the files. The hearing is continued until December 23.
Also on the agenda was Carol Mallegni regarding property located at the corner of Nashawena and Shawmut Roads for the construction of a single-family dwelling. Represented by Dave Davignon, Schneider & Associates, the commission received detailed information of the plans and wetlands along the site. One abutter, Robert Rousseau, came forward concerned about losing a water view that his family has enjoyed for five generations and the possible loss of well water levels. The applicant and the abutter were given time to discuss the plans, after which Davignon asked that the commission vote to approve the plans contingent upon conditions and possible plan modifications. A purchase and sale agreement is pending. The commission concurred and approved the application.
The last hearing of the night was tabled pending possible plan modifications and completion of soil stabilization. Frank Linhares, 16 Holly Hollow Ln., was requesting a certificate of compliance. Noting that is wasn’t of a pressing nature and that he may install a patio area, the request was tabled to a later date.
The Conservation Commission meets again on December 9 at 6:30 pm.
By Marilou Newell