Beach Street Phragmites to be Removed

The Marion Conservation Commission voted in favor of a project to eradicate the invasive phragmite plant at 32 Beach Street.  The plant has taken over much of the land and is encroaching on an intermittent stream as well as a wetland line that was delineated in the mid 1990s.  The applicants are Shay and Christine Assad.

“In that area you can see that it’s overgrown with phragmites.  In addition it’s gone over this historic wetland line from 1995. We’ve got about another 3,600 square feet inside the buffer zone that has an invasion,” said engineer Rick Charon on behalf of the Assad family.

All told, there is over 10,000 square feet that has been overrun by the species.  Once the phragmites have been removed, Charon said they plan to revegetate the area with non-invasive native species.

“We might put bayberry or winterberry. If there were other suitable species for that area, they would have to be salt-tolerable,” Charon said. “We’re like to get something in there to take the place of the phragmites and create a little more diversity there.”

The Commission was amenable to the project, but Ray Pickles, an abutter, said that he and some other neighbors support the plan but would like to see the new plants maintained at a maximum height of six feet.

“We would like to see it limited by the Conservation Commission in the velocity zone,” Pickles said.

Commission Clerk Norman Hills was not in favor of limiting the height of the new vegetation.

That sentiment was not shared by Vice Chairman Lawrence Dorman, who suggested it was out of the purview of the Commission to make that decision.

“I think it’s up to the home-owner to decide how high they should be,” said Dorman.

Commissioner Steve Gonsalves suggested creating a list of suitable plant species and allowing the applicants decide and confer with their neighbors.

Hills said before the work could begin, he would like to see the old wetland line re-established.

“I want permanent markers there so there’s no question,” he said.

Charon said that they would prefer to re-establish the line and was open to ideas on how to mark the area.

“Maybe a stone marker.  I’d like to put something in there that looks nice,” he said.

Dorman then offered an order of conditions that would require the wetland line be marked prior to the cutting of the phragmite.

“I think we’d like to see the markers done before the work, therefore, we’ll need to do a site visit before you start,” Dorman said.

The Commission unanimously voted in favor of the NOI.

In other business:

•The Conservation Commission issued a Certificate of Compliance for a garden shed constructed by A. Neil Pappalardo of 90 Moorings Road.

•The Commissioners held a brief informal discussion with Frank Cerkovitz regarding the conversion of a cranberry bog on Cross Neck Road to a conservation restricted wetland.  Cerkovitz is still investigating the process and had no plans to submit for the project at this time.

•A public hearing scheduled for Sanford Russell, Jr. of 5 Main Street was continued until the next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission on January 9, 2013, per request of the applicant.

By Eric Tripoli

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