Planning for Recovery

What turned out to be an especially short night for the Mattapoisett Planning Board on Monday was nonetheless an important one for the Mooney family.

The loss of their Crystal Springs home to a devastating fire in February has forced the family to presently live with friends. During the construction of a replacement home, the Mooneys need to have a temporary trailer on their home site. This would give them an opportunity to resume living together as a single family while waiting for their new home.

The Mooneys came before to the Board to ask permission to remove a large pine tree that is located on town-owned land near their property. Presently, the tree is obstructing the egress needed to place the trailer on the property.

The Mooneys said that their insurance will pay to have the tree removed and, most likely, also fund a replacement once construction is complete. However, they stated that, regardless, they would replace the tree in its original location or in a location deemed mutually agreeable with the town.

“Yes, the tree would have to be replaced,” Chairman Tom Tucker said. He went on to tell the Mooneys that Crystal Springs Road is a “scenic byway,” which means that trees are of paramount importance to the aesthetics of the road.

“Normally, trees removed from town property [on designated scenic byways] require a public vote,” Tucker said. Given the circumstances and unilateral agreement of the Mattapoisett boards, such a vote would not be needed for the Mooneys.

Roland Cote, Mattapoisett Tree Warden, was on hand at the meeting to lend his support to the Mooneys.

The Board voted unanimously to grant the Mooneys their request.

The next order of business was a request by Tim and Greta Fox to modify their building plans to allow the electrical service planned for their new construction on Pine Island Road to be above versus below ground. After consideration of the cost involved with underground services, along with poles and wiring currently crossing the plane of view to their property, the Foxes requested the change. N-Star requires that they receive assurances from the Planning Board for this change since the originals did not reflect above ground services. The Board unanimously voted to approve their request, making it official in the meeting minutes.

Tucker reminded the couple that their “as built” documents will have to show the electrical service change.

The Board adjourned after reviewing incoming mail and other housekeeping matters.

By Marilou Newell

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