Pine Island Hearing Draws Crowd

No fewer than nine public hearings came before the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission on Monday evening, making for a meeting that approached four hours in duration and a series of decisions on complex applications. N. Douglas Schneider & Associates engineer David Davignon was front and center for six of them, as his company was representing a majority of the applicants.

Davignon had a mostly good night, with four of his projects receiving the green light from the Conservation Commission, including the Notices of Intent put forth by Timothy and Greta Fox. The Foxes are currently building in the Pine Island Estates on Pine Island Road, and the two houses under construction have been criticized by neighbors for what they have perceived as an erratic timetable and less than forthright dealings with aspects of the plans, including a proposed paved road.

Mattapoisett Dick Poznysz submitted a letter to the town expressing concern that the bulldozed swale leading to the project is haphazard and could prove troublesome for nearby trees, some of which could reach his house if they fell.

“Construction has been under way for a year,” Poznysz said. “It’s common sense and prudent to ascertain whether it’s being conducted properly.”

Other neighbors, including abutter Becky Lockwood, agreed, saying that runoff onto her property had increased dramatically, while adding that a fence of hers had been impacted by construction.

But acting chairman Bob Rogers told the assembled that the decision was effectively out of the Conservation Commission’s hands, pointing out that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection had OK’d the project and is currently monitoring it. A denial of the Foxes’ request for approval on features would likely result in a protracted appeal process with the same result, Rogers said.

“We have no leverage or means to hold this up,” Rogers said. “We have a process. We cannot arbitrarily or legally tell him he can’t [move forward].”

The Conservation Commission also approved Davignon for the repair of a stone/concrete seawall at 11 Shore View Ave., and a more extensive project at 8 Deep Woods Dr., where Long Built Homes proposes the construction of a four-bedroom house and attached garage. The property would include a septic system, as Mattapoisett has heretofore denied tie-in to the sewer line because of “over-capacity,” according to Davignon, while also adding an in-ground pool that will require some removal of trees.

While some abutters wondered whether the pool would increase runoff to their properties, as well as to the surrounding wetlands, because of the increase in impervious cover, none outright opposed the plan.

However, flooding concerns did stall another of Davignon’s projects: The addition of a shed, porch, and patio at 24 Pine Island Rd. The hearing – as well as that for another swimming pool project at 20 Water Street – was continued until the Commission’s next meeting on October 16.

Elsewhere on the agenda, the Conservation Commission gave the go-ahead to:

Construction of a 30-by-80-foot hoop building at 4 Fairhaven Rd.;

Revised plans for a private dock in Hiller’s Cover at 48A Shore Dr., with conditions for plan language and the treatment of rebar before construction gets under way;

A proposed wetland and intermittent stream crossing, road construction, and four-point source discharges at David Nicolosi’s property on Fairhaven Road.

By Shawn Badgley


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