Proposed Shed Encroaches Wetlands

On May 6, the Rochester Conservation Commission heard resident John Scheub discuss the enlargement of a shed on his property, from its current 12- by 8-foot size to a larger 12-  by 24-foot size. This change would cause the shed to extend into the 100-foot buffer zone to a wetland bordering Snipatuit Pond.

“We were out there tonight and we saw how close it is already to the wetland,” said ConCom member Rosemary Smith. She commented that it’s currently on cinderblocks.

Rather than installing a concrete slab, ConCom member John Teal stated, “I think cinderblocks are the way to go. I’ve built plenty of sheds on cinderblocks. I think it would be fine.”

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon explained that there have been two orientations on this site already and that “the problem is that it is a one-acre lot. And then you add the pond.” She further explained that, “it’s just a maxed out site. It’s tight, but he’s within his rights to apply for it.”

The commission members discussed moving the location of the shed, and there seemed to be a little bit of wiggle room, but not much.

Smith asked Scheub why he needed that much room.

Scheub replied that he has four kids, cars and motorcycles, as well as a decent amount of “stuff” that he would like to keep contained.

ConCom member Kevin Cassidy proposed that a fence be built as a permanent barrier around the property, with a condition that no other buildings are allowed on this property.

“Perhaps we need a continuance to make sure we get this right,” said Farinon. She agreed to meet with Scheub on the property to go over specifics and then re-address the request at the next meeting in two weeks. The continuance was granted.

Farinon then launched into a talk about the Mattapoisett River Valley Water Supply Protection Advisory Committee, on which she is the vice chairman. This committee would like to shed some light on how we manage our water resources in Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester.

Farinon handed out a brochure with information about the Mattapoisett River Valley’s aquifer. It states that just last year, our aquifer supplied approximately 2.2 million gallons per day for domestic and commercial use. This committee works on activities such as land purchases, engineering studies and water conservation programs.

Farinon said that this is “one of the most rewarding committees I’ve worked on.” More information can be found on the website

On a different note, ConCom member Laurene Gerrior told the commission that she has discovered a raven’s nest in Rochester. This is a northern bird, similar to a crow. It is the second one found in Plymouth County.

A water event involving kayaks was discussed and tentative dates were made for this summer, as well as a kick-off to open Doggett’s Brook sometime in late June. More information will follow once the dates and events are set.

The Annual Town Meeting will be held on May 19, and the following Conservation Commission meetings will be on May 30 and June 3.

By Sarah Taylor


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