For the second time this month, the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission met with a robust agenda of hearings.
The first hearing of the night was in regard to a Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Robert Townsend, who is proposing to excavate and backfill, as required for installations of sono-tube footings for house additions at 11 Channel Street.
“All the project is we’re taking away some existing steps, pushing the bathroom out three feet, which means we need another point of egress,” said engineer Christian McCulloch, who represented Townsend at the meeting.
The Conservation Commission voted in favor of the project with no special conditions.
Then, the Commission held a hearing for a Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Francis and Natalie Haggerty of 26 Brandt Island Road. The applicants are proposing to repair the septic system for the existing home. The renovations will include the installation of a new dosing tank and a new leaching facility that will be at least 65 feet from the edge of the wetland boundary.
“This is a septic system repair for a house that’s been put on the market. You’ll notice there’s an intermittent stream running through the property,” said engineer Rick Charon, who added that the stream’s location prevents them from developing the front part of the property.
“There are some very large trees here that we’re trying to retain,” he said.
Chairman Peter Newton said that Mattapoisett’s conservation agent found no issues with the plan.
With no comments from the public, the Conservation Commission voted in favor of the septic project.
The Commission then held a public hearing regarding an RDA filed by Jonathan and Michelle Pope of 26 Main Street, who are proposing to raise the rear wing of the existing home, located within 100-year floodplain, and construct a new addition.
Charon was also the Pope’s representative during the hearing.
“This is a new kitchen wing that’s replacing an old section of the house. It just touches into the flood zone,” he said. “Essentially because it touches into that flood zone, the entire house has to be compatible with regulations.”
The new wing would be constructed at the same elevation of the current structure. There are no nearby wetlands resource areas.
Seeing no conflicts, the Commission voted in favor of the project.
The Commission then issued a Certificate of Compliance for Priscilla Bill, regarding the construction of a new home on Shore Drive. Plans for the house have been in the works for decades, but so far, only the septic system has been installed.
“The original 1991 order of conditions allowed a three-bedroom room on this parcel. The septic system has been sitting there dormant for so many years,” said Charon, Bill’s representative. He added that the outdated system would need to be replaced because it does not meet new standards that were put into place in 1995.
Next, the Conservation Commission held a hearing regarding a Notice of Intent filed by Bill to construct the long-awaited single-family dwelling at Shore Drive.
“This proposal is an updated, code-compliant revision of what was proposed in 1991,” Charon said.
“It’ll be an open-pile foundation and they will be able to drive underneath it to park at the house.
The hearing was continued to the meeting on Friday, October 12, because the project did not yet have a DEP file number. The meeting was rescheduled due to the Columbus Day Holiday.
Then, the Commission had a continued hearing for William and Sophia Macropoulos, who filed a Notice of Intent to repair large sections of a concrete seawall. They propose pouring a 12-inch thick concrete cap on the top and sides of the existing wall.
“At the last public hearing, we discussed the dimensions of the project, as well as changing materials for the anchor bolts. The other issue we talked about was extending the proposal to a wood post found on the existing concrete that’s left,” said Dave Davignon of Schneider and Associates, engineer and representative for the Macropoulos family.
The wood post is indicative of the existence of a jetty and marked the end of the wall decades ago before it came into disrepair.
“I went out there and I did see what could be relic concrete passing through there. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went out to there,” said Commission member Tom Copps.
The project must be put on hold temporarily as the Waterways Department reviews the project for licensure.
The Commission voted to continue the hearing until the October 22 meeting.
The Conservation Commission then continued the hearing for Dean Withrow, who filed an NOI a few months ago to build a single-family home and well at 25 Grand View Avenue. The project has been met with intense opposition from many abutters, whose concerns range from potential neighborhood drainage problems to location of the proposed well.
The hearings have attracted dozens of concerned neighbors who have been very vocal about their disagreements with the plans. Some abutters have hired legal counsel to speak for them during the meetings.
“We do not have any revised plans. We will be submitting revised plans in the future. Since the last hearing, we’ve had a lot of discussion about the project with our client. The plan is to bring the two lots subject to the filing before you into compliance with the original 2007 approved plan. That plan is still active, that permit is still active,” said Davignon.
“The work is underway. We did an inspection today. We intend to revise the plan to reflect the existing conditions once the work is completed. We request a continuance until the October 22 meeting,” he said.
“We’ve been asking for something like this. We’re hopeful that this is a step in the right direction. I’d like to believe that everybody is approaching this, and it’s bona fide in good faith,” said Robert Moore, attorney for the abutting Henderson family.
He requested that Davignon share and review the final plans once they are made available in order to keep all concerned parties informed.
The Commission granted Davignon’s request to continue the hearing until next month.
In other business, the Commission held a walk-in appointment with Attorney Moore to discuss non-compliance complaints regarding the Grand View Avenue project, who indicated he would to continue the conversation at the October 22 meeting, after the first stages of the project are complete.
The other walk-in for the Grand View project, requested by abutter Karen Almeida, was also postponed by her request until October 22.
The Commission held an advisory discussion with Attorney Daniel Perry, on behalf of the Village of Mattapoisett complex, regarding acquiring public funds to help off-set the costs of drainage infrastructure repairs.
When the Village was built, a large sum of money, derived from occupant fees, was set aside by the town in the event of a large emergency. It was not purposed for the use of regular maintenance.
“Since the project has been completed, the chances are low that we’d see a massive disaster,” Perry said.
Perry would have to file for a special permit with the Planning Board, but said he has only had an exploratory meeting with them thus far. He said the Board would feel more comfortable to consider releasing the funds back to the condominium association if Perry could acquire a letter of endorsement from the Conservation Commission.
“I’d like to be supportive of it, but I think the Commission should more appropriately to make a commitment, if and when you file the application, following the public hearing, we could give you the letter,” said Commission member Bob Rogers.
“I don’t think we should be taking a vote or sending a letter if you haven’t formally applied for the amended special permit,” he said.
But Conservation Commission member Ken Dawicki wasn’t as supportive of the plan.
“I was a member of the Conservation Commission when this was put into effect and they put a lot of thought into it. They’ve already done a lot of repairs to this system already. “I can’t see getting rid of this. It’s a stop-gap. It’s not made to maintain anything, it’s for emergency situations,” he said.
The final decision on whether or not to disperse the money to the complex would be made by the Planning Board.
“I think it’s best to go back to them and proceed on this step-by-step,” said Chairman Peter Newton.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission will be on Friday, October 12, 2012, at 6:30 pm at the Town Hall.
By Eric Tripoli