Full House for Hearings and Interviews

Dianne Tsitsos and Marylou Armstrong have submitted letters of interest and resumes rich with environmental expertise and governmental oversight processes for the commission’s consideration for the empty seat they are seeking to fill.

Tsitsos said that the subject matter handled by the commission is of interest to her as well as wetland issues. Her background contains working for U.S. agencies in international development, domestic economic development projects, and has interfaced with various wetland protection agencies.

Armstrong has been working in the environmental protection field since the 1980s and was Stoughton’s former conservation agent in the early Nineties. She presently works for a firm that provides environmental consulting primarily in the Boston area.

Both candidates were told that their interest in assisting the town was very much appreciated by the commission and that their qualifications would be evaluated with a recommendation being given to the board of selectmen in the coming days.

Public Hearings

Rich Charon, representing Gabriel Estrela of 48A Shore Drive, for extending and making major modification to an existing jetty in Hiller’s Cove. Citing that the plans previously submitted would require major redesign and resubmission due to various natural resource considerations at the site such as marine fisheries, eel grass beds, shellfish beds, and storm damage, Charon asked for a four-week continuance.

Abutters Carol Amick and William Moonan , 48B Shore Dr., read a lengthy and comprehensively composed statement detailing everything from visual ugliness to storms pushing the new dock onto their parcel as reasons why the present plan is not in tone with the Hiller Cove area and was opposed to the plan.

Charon said he would provide abutters with the updated plans prior to the next public hearing so they might have time to review them and provide their continued input. The commission granted the four-week continuance.

Request for determination of applicability filed by Ann Shepley, 16 Winnatuxett Beach Rd., to replace an existing drain pipe under the driveway and also clear an existing ditch to the culvert was positively supported.

Request to amend order of conditions filed by Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Commission, Acushnet Road, to prolong pumping test at pump station #2; the pump test will be completed as part of the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection with a total of six days of pumping at the site to determine if there is sufficient water as a resource. Commission approved the amended request after assurances that the water will not be an issue to the area, as it is pumped from underground.

Jay and Julie Starr-Duker, 112 Aucoot Rd., came forward next but said they will be requesting a continuance. They had not received a DEP File #, nor had they received a response from natural heritage. The issue is the eradication of the phragmite (invasive species) within the bordering vegetated wetland. Phragmites are most commonly found in freshwater wetlands but it readily invades salt marshes that have been degraded by some type of flow restriction. In these cases, the most effective treatment is to restore the flow of salt water. That is not possible at the Duker parcel so they are seeking other remedies. They hope to plant native grasses and to nourish the remainder of the beach down to the mean high water line with compatible sand.

When the public was invited to comment on the proposed work, abutter Richard Cederberg of 108 Aucoot Rd. gave the commission members a recent picture of the marsh saying that since the 1930 the marsh area has been undergoing erosion, that it would continue and could not be stopped no matter what restorative actions the Dukers might attempt. He said he wasn’t opposed to the applicant’s plan but felt it was ill conceived and a waste of time and money. Chair Peter Newton said they weren’t able to comment on how people spent their money, only on whether the wetlands were protected.

Brad Hathaway said, “I agree I’d like to see the phragmite gone.” But he said he didn’t know how it could be removed and clearly now occupied two-thirds of all marsh areas.

The applicant requested and received a two-week continuance for further plan development.

Robert Field, 8 Whaler’s Way, brought a request for determination of applicability. Field wishes to alter existing deck into an enclosed porch at the rear of the dwelling near the 100-foot buffer zone of a bordering vegetated wetland area subject to coastal storm flow. He was approved to proceed.

A continued request for determination of applicability filed by Jon Ruel, 1 Atkinson Way, for repaving driveway and drainage improvements. The applicant simply wants to repave the driveway without making changes to the drainage. No special conditions were noted, and the applicant can move forward.

Finally, Crescent Beach Improvement Association discussed their plan for seaweed removal and ongoing maintenance.

By Marilou Newell


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