The Mattapoisett Conservation Commission issued a Certificate of Compliance for work done at 25 Grandview Avenue, an address that has proven to be a center of contention within that neighborhood for most of the year.
While plans to build a home on the property have been held up at various town meetings due to issues between the applicants and abutters, the work that has been done at the site was in response to an old COC request.
Attorney Robert Moore was present at the meeting on behalf of many of the abutters in the neighborhood and said that he believed issuing a COC was premature because the work had not yet been completed.
He cited several items listed on the Order of Conditions, such as the installation of a drainage pipe that was never done.
“The four-inch pipe that Mr. Moore is talking about is a four-inch pipe placed on the plan as a request of [abutter] Mr. Henderson,” said engineer Dave Davignon, who represented Stephen and Leigh Oler, the applicants. The plans he referenced were drafted in 2007.
Davignon said that Henderson had reservations about the drainage in the area and wished to see the pipe included in the plan. Davignon said the pipe was installed but later removed.
But Moore, again, quoted the Order of Conditions directly.
“The Order says ‘add four-inch drain,’ said Moore.
Chairman Peter Newton voiced his frustration at the prolonged stop-and-go process for the project and suggested that the feuding neighbors were abusing the function of the Commission.
“I feel like we’re being used for the resolution of a neighborly dispute. We’ve spent almost a year arguing over the subtleties and whether or not the owner said this or that,” he said. “What we have here is a plan, certified by licensed professionals, that states that they believe the site is sufficiently in compliance.”
“We’ve heard everything many times and I’m done,” he said.
Also during the meeting, a public hearing was held for Indian Cove and Trust and Indian Cove Boatyard. The companies have filed a Request for Determination of Applicability for their proposal to construct a driveway at 126 Aucoot Road that would serve as frontage for a subdivision as required by the Town of Marion zoning by-laws.
“What we’re proposing to do with the Aucoot Boatyard property is to subdivide it into three lots for the purpose of creating single-family homes, which are not part of this application,” said Davignon, who represented the Indian Cove group at the meeting.
“We’re proposing the extension of Aucoot Road from Mattapoisett into Marion for that frontage,” he said. The proposed road would service only one house.
“All of the work is actually in the town of Marion, except for a 14 foot stretch of road,” Davignon said.
The Commission then granted the negative determination the group was seeking.
The Conservation Commission then had a public hearing for Steve Carvalho of 3 Winnatuxett Road, who has filed an RDA for the construction of an attached garage for the existing home.
“Basically, the owner is looking to put an addition on the south side of their building. There’s minimal grading and we’re approximately 80 feet from the wetland with any of our work,” said Carvalho, who represented himself via his employer, Thompson Farland Engineers.
The Commission saw no conflicts with the project and issued a negative determination for the plan.
Next, the Commission held a hearing for an RDA filed by Brian and Betsy Andrade of 70 Aucoot Road. Their property sustained damage due to Hurricane Sandy and they are proposing to repair the residential pier facility on the property. The project would be extensive, requiring the replacement of the frame around the platform. The application listed the use of a crane and barge to help complete the project.
“They have a pier, it’s licensed, it got damaged by Hurricane Sandy. It tore a two-foot section off the end of the pier. It also lifted up the end of the pier about three or four inches, so it’s off-level,” said Dave Davignon, who represented the Andrades.
Commission Chairman Peter Newton did not feel that it was completely necessary for them to file an RDA because the project falls under a government-sponsored storm damage amnesty program.
“DEP storm guidance procedure, what they’re asking for is a letter with bullets saying what the applicant is seeking to do,” said Code Enforcement Officer Andrew Bobola.
The Commission voted in favor of the project anyway, but the applicants will be in touch with DEP regarding the repairs.
The Commission then heard from William Marcropoulos of 12 Howard Beach Road, who was seeking an “after the fact” approval on a Notice of Intent regarding a self-repaired rock wall on his property that serves as wind protection for part of a garden.
Since the wall was built without proper permits and without a licensed engineer, the Commission felt that the wall was problematic.
“The question is whether or not this can be considered an engineered structure and I think it definitely is,” said Newton.
“I think our hands are tied on this one,” said Commission member Bob Rogers, who suggested the wall be removed completely.
Marcropoulos explained that he did not know he needed to file for approval beforehand and would not have done so had he known.
Newton said that there can be no guarantee the wall would survive another storm like Sandy and could cause further property damage if it was violently dismantled by weather.
“We’re pretty sure that it’s unanimous that it’s not permitable,” said Newton.
The hearing was continued because the project did not yet at a DEP file number.
Next, the Commission held a continued hearing for a Notice of Intent filed by Paul and Jayne St. Pierre of 25 Main Street. They propose to install stone steps in association with minor grading changes to create safer access to a nearby walking and bike path.
“There was a question about landscaping and what to place here. There was concern by the neighbors that plantings be limited in height to the shrubbery that exists in the area,” said Steve Gioiosa on behalf of the St. Pierre family.
At the October 22 meeting, the Commission expressed concern over liability and responsibility for maintenance of the area, since the project would technically take place on public land, not private property. Gioiosa said that the applicants, with their legal counsel, drafted a letter stating that they would assume full responsibility for maintaining the area.
The Commission voted to approve the plan, with the conditions that the resource areas have not been identified and that the letter provided by the applicants be included in the record.
In other business, the Conservation Commission approved the repair of a septic system at 6 Fairhaven Road that serves a two-family home. They also approved the enclosure of an area of property at 58 Pico Beach Road, for the purpose of creating a garage.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission will be on Monday, November 26, 2012, at 6:30 pm at the Town Hall.
By Eric Tripoli