Main Street Garage Project Causes Concern

A proposed plan to replace a carport with a garage at a Main Street residence was a topic of concern on Wednesday night, January 9, during the Marion Conservation Commission’s regular meeting in the Marion Town House. The issued was raised during a public hearing which was continued from December 12.

The property, which is located at 5 Main Street belongs to Sanford Russell Jr.  Dave Davignon of Schneider and Associates is managing the project.

“We are looking to close this hearing tonight,” Davignon said.

The plan proposes replacing an existing carport with a new garage structure, removing a retaining wall, relocating and expanding a boulder retaining wall, reconstructing a driveway apron and installing a trench drain. The hearing has been postponed several times for planning purposes.

Davignon asked the Commission for an Order of Conditions so he can begin the process of obtaining a building permit for the project.  An abutting neighbor, William Rogerson of 9 Main Street, is concerned that Davignon is not following protocol.

“I think their application is not in compliance with the DEP’s regulation,” said Rogerson.

Rogerson is concerned that Davignon is bypassing the Zoning Board of Appeals because they had originally not voted in favor of the project.  Without the approval of the ZBA, Davignon cannot begin construction. There are currently no negotiations between Davignon and the ZBA.

“I’m not sure what our next step is with the Zoning Board,” said Davignon.  “We’ve got to take it one step at a time.”

Davignon also feels it should be up to the ZBA’s enforcement officer to bring up any potential problems with the project. He also stated that he would not begin construction without all appropriate approval.

For Rogerson, he feels that the biggest problem with the new garage would be drainage.  He believes that all of the excess runoff from the roof of his garage will end up spilling into Sippican Harbor, ultimately polluting it. Davignon disagreed.

“Roof runoff is considered clean water,” he said. “Our client’s property is certainly not polluting the harbor.”

“I’m not that concerned with the water runoff,” said Commissioner Norm Hills.

In addition to the runoff, Rogerson is concerned that the structure is taller than Davignon initially proposed and that he will be utilizing more fill.  Additionally, he believes it is not in accordance with town setback laws, even though Davignon has already relocated the structure an additional three feet back from Hiller Road.

Despite Rogerson’s concerns, the Commission voted unanimously to grant Davignon and Order of Conditions for the project.

“I firmly believe this is an improvement from what is there now,” said Davignon.

In other news, the Commission continued the two other hearings on the agenda, both of which propose building timber piers.  The first is for a property belonging to David and Linda Nielsen at 203 Front Street.  The second property belongs to Jonathan and Amy DiVincenzo of 370 Delano Road. Davignon will represent both owners at the Commission’s next meeting.

The Marion Conservation Commission will meet again on Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00 pm in the Marion Town House.

By Katy Fitzpatrick 



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