With a full agenda and long night of hearings ahead of them, the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission began with the Water and Sewer Department submissions.
Highway Surveyor Barry Denham discussed the delineation of resources off Acushnet Road. Streams, channels, inland banks and riverways were noted on maps and plans to insure protections are in place for future work in that area. Nothing is currently planned, but Denham provided the Commission with comprehensive assessments for clarity when new wells might be needed in that area. Commission Agent Elizaebth Ledihold noted that the delineation was fine and the natural heredity map seemed not to be impacted or of concern. The Commissioners requested additional delineations for all intermittent streams.
This brief hearing was followed with an informal conversation with Denham regarding the Mattapoisett Neck sewer project. Minor changes to the road resurfacing project that require the finished surface area to be two inches above the original plans were noted. The Commissioners asked if and how this alleviation change might impact drainage and natural resources abutting the roadway. Denham said that this was a very minor change. Less milling of the road surfaces would result in less disturbance of the surrounding area. Loam and plantings would be added to transition from the finished road to the surrounding drainage areas. Bob Rogers requested a letter from Water and Sewer Department noting the changes for the public record. The Commissioners and Denham agreed that a summary letter would be provided.
Several hearings were then quickly dispatched: Robert and Susan Carson, 18 Silver Shell Avenue, were requesting the Commission’s approval for changes to their current home, including roofing over a deck, seasonal porch enclosure and construction of an observation deck, none of which would impact the current footprint of the building. The project was accepted as submitted.
Next, Jacob and Jennifer Mark, 23 Bay Road, requested approval for the removal of an existing porch and construction of an addition to the dwelling which would be somewhat larger than footprint. The Commissioners asked the applicants’ representatives about barriers for delineated areas of work to protect water resource spaces and erosion control. Applicants will protect resource areas with hay bales and other materials. All excavated material will be removed from the site. The Commission agreed to the plans as submitted with additional protections in place.
Debra Dewalt was next to come before the Commission, requesting approval to remove an elevated wooden walkway located at 9 Locust Street. Dewalt is in the process of returning the property to its original state. The project was approved as submitted.
Discussion was opened with Mr. Laveia of D and B Quality Construction, as the applicant for projects at 15 Cedarcrest Avenue, the property owned by Stacey Marino. Conversation quickly bogged down as a non-conforming shed on the property had never been permitted. Brandon Faneuf, engineer to the owner, explained the two issues that were before the Commission. The applicant had not received DEP file numbers for the conversion of the existing deck to a screen room and construction of a new deck, and after-the-fact filing to allow an already constructed shed and outdoor shower.
Faneuf requested that the two issues be viewed as one project. However, the Commissioners believed the shed issue needed resolution first before any project could be heard. Commissioner Ken Dawicki stated that the homeowner was responsible for the shed regardless of it being on the property when she purchased it. Further, there are environmental problems with ‘gray’ water entering the watershed area from the shower. And, lastly, the shed was apparently placed outside the owners’ property bounds.
Faneuf pressed the Commission to move forward rendering their opinion for proposed changes to the porch and deck areas. However, the Commission countered that other boards, not the least being the Planning and Zoning Boards, need to review and approve changes first.
Chairman Newton said, “There are too many issues … Con Com can’t hear the applicant’s request. Building, zoning, no permits were pulled … we would prefer to wait until DEP issues file numbers and other issues cleared before Con Com went further.”
There was some discussion about Laveia versus owner Marino being the applicant. Newton noted that this is allowed. Con Com told Faneuf and Laveia to continue these matters while DEP file numbers could be secured and due process through other boards could take place. Con Com gave applicant another hearing date: April 8.
An application by Daniel Oliver, 40 Water Street, to allow pier extension and a new gangway to be wider than state-suggested guidelines was then heard. After discussion of difficulties that Oliver has experienced in receiving return calls from DEP and Coastal Zone Management for further guidance, Commissioner Mike King said he was in favor of the change.
The Commission overwhelmingly agreed that Oliver should be allowed a 5-foot wide gangway with various approved floats, decking and clearances for natural resources such as eel grass. It was read into the minutes that the Shellfish Officer was consulted and eel grass impact, if any, would need to follow guidelines. Rogers moved to approve the project with proposed changes being noted on all documents and plans. The Commission approved.
Last up was Pease’s Point Improvement Association. Ron Gerace and Sullivan of the Association requested permission to move forward with repairs to a seawall. Discussion followed about the need for a DEP 91 License was brought up by Dawicki. Since the applicant wants the seawall approved into perpetuity, the Commissioners felt that such licensing should be secured. Chairman Newton also stated that the Commission needs existing condition documentation.
“You need to get the sea wall surveyed,” Newton said.
This led to some frustration on the part of Gerace and Sullivan, who stated, “…the wall is crumbling as we speak — we need to get this fixed!”
The Association had addressed the license issue in 1992, at which time it was told by the state that it was no required. The Commissioners agreed that the work does need to get done, but that first a survey is required and possible DEP license pursued before the Commission can move forward on the project. It was pointed out by the Commission that conditions may have changed and shifted in and around the seawall since 1992, and, therefore, current conditions needed to be assessed. The goal of the Commission is to help insure that the work done now will last through coming generations. Association members acquiesced to get the survey done and submitted to the Commission while pursuing the DEP issue concurrently.
Lastly, Leidhold gave the Agent’s report including recent seminars she had attended, and the forthcoming Open Space Committee’s public meeting, which is seeking community input from interested parties.
By Marilou Newell