Wellspring Farm Gets Peaceful Informal Review

The informal review for Wellspring Farm by the Rochester Planning Board on February 14 was unusually quiet sans any abutters presenting their most recent complaints.

James and Holly Vogel, owners of the 42 Hiller Road therapeutic horseback riding facility and farm, sat ready to answer any questions as attorney George Boerger and engineer Joe Webby gave the informal presentation of the proposed site plan for the commercial business.

Planning Board Chairman Arnold Johnson outlined the scope of the board’s review as mostly traffic, parking, drainage, and screening.

“But we reserve the right to add anything in there that may come up over the course of the hearing,” said Johnson.

One concern was a gravel road – one which engineer Rich Charon explained in a letter on behalf of the Vogels should be sufficient enough for the proposed operations at the site – that would be limited to exiting traffic.

Boerger said the Vogels propose grading and resurfacing the gravel, also a concern from the Zoning Board of Appeals who have already granted their permit for the project.

A designated entrance and exit is proposed so that vans and buses can pull in and drive right through. Neighbors have expressed concerns about the noise of alarms sounding from vans and buses in reverse.

Also, parking on Hiller Road has been curbed with the placement of ‘No Parking’ signs, with parking redirected into the property.

“We’re going to be asking you to provide parking counts and we’re going to need to verify those as well,” said Johnson. How many cars come in there on a daily basis, at what times, and other relevant information, added Johnson.

Planning Board member Gary Florindo brought up the idling of diesel engines, which has been a complaint of abutters in the past.

“Idle time should be at a minimum,” said Florindo. “That annoys the neighbors…. Sound does travel.”

Vogel said he had already posted ‘No Idling’ signs at the site in order to comply with the ZBA conditions of the permit. Some vehicles may start up a bit early to warm up the interior before the children board, but other than that, said Vogel, “We don’t idle.”

“We’re interested in vehicle trip [number counts],” said Johnson. “That’s how we’re going to determine everything.”

Locations for drop off and pick up will have to be clearly marked on the site plan.

Webby, during his presentation, said one reason why the design stage has been slow is due to the above-mentioned gravel road within the 25-foot no-touch wetlands zone. Until they were able to assess when it was created and whether it was properly permitted, no one was certain on which way the design would go.

“Now that we have a report confirming that the base of the road is good and properly permitted through conservation,” said Webby, “We can now enter the design mentality…”

Screening could be added in addition to the ZBA’s conditions, said Johnson, but at the very least, the Planning Board would have to honor the ZBA requirements.

“All the screening is consistent with what the ZBA required,” said Boerger.

Boerger said one neighbor specifically requested to not install a fence that would block a view of the tree canopy from their property. The Vogels said they wish to accommodate the neighbor, but the request must be approved by the ZBA first.

As the presentation wrapped up, Johnson said, “The reason for this meeting is to try and get most of this out there before you get too far along in the development of the project.”

Johnson said this site plan review was an “extensive application” that covers some “big stuff and small stuff,” specifying a need to make clear bullet point remarks in the narratives.

Another non-contiguous parcel was discussed, for which the Vogels currently have no plan to expand or change. The parcel, located further down Walnut Plain Road, is used on occasion for experiential therapy for children who have little experience in a woodland setting.

The Planning Board stated that it would continue to require the mandatory 40-foot apron along the road, despite a proposal to limit it to 20 feet.

“I don’t think we’ve ever waived the forty-foot,” said Johnson. The board concurred.

With no further questions, and without a peep from the audience, Johnson reminded Boerger that the board requires a two-week public notification before a public hearing, so a formal site plan review filing should be done sooner rather than later.

The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for February 28 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

An Early February Break Delights at ORR

New England weather events and one New England sports event in particular happened to give students and teachers a reprieve from school a week ahead of schedule.

The first day off for a group of students was the previous Tuesday. While school was in session, several skipped the day and took the commuter train up to Boston to join over one million other fans at the New England Patriot’s Super Bowl victory parade.

Although it was her first time in attendance, junior Madison Carvalho said the experience was a lot of fun and “definitely worth it.”

“It was absolutely insane. The crowd was amazing, seeing all the players and staff was really cool, and the best part was just being a part of a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Evan Costa, another junior.

While it might be a more regular occurrence for the current times, it certainly is one of those events to take advantage of being nearby.

Sunny and in the high 50 degrees, Wednesday did not show any signs of impending snow. However, the district-wide half-day brought along the feelings of vacation sooner than expected. Students were ecstatic when the call went out that night announcing the snow day.

“Whenever there’s extreme inclement weather, the thought of cancelling or delaying school is part of my preparation for the start of my day,” Superintendent Doug White stated. “As superintendent, I have to always be concerned about the safety of the students and staff. I work very closely with school and town personnel to understand the conditions of the facilities and the roads.”

White also stated that he communicates with other school superintendents to compare how various districts in the area are responding before using all the information gathered “to either cancel or delay school on the basis of timing of the weather as to whether it will be safe for all students and staff to travel to and from school.”

“I have to defer to those above me, but if it’s about the safety of kids, I have no problems about [school being cancelled],” Vice Principal Mike Parker said about the subject. “It’s a very tough call with regional schools, especially with three towns, because what’s happening in Rochester isn’t necessarily happening in Marion.”

Although flakes didn’t begin to fall until mid-day on Thursday, the administrative decision to cancel school was without a doubt the right call. Having many student and parent drivers off the road and out of the rapidly deteriorating conditions that afternoon helped keep the community safe, a reason why it was appropriate to have school off on Friday, as well. Even if major roads in the Tri-Town had been plowed by Friday morning, many smaller streets and driveways were still blocked by snow.

Students in the junior high and high schools were greeted with a two-hour delayed start on Monday morning as well, after road conditions in the early hours remained questionable. The previous day had created a thick icy layer on many roads, including North Street in Mattapoisett, as one junior high parent pointed out. The extra time before the start of school ensured safer conditions for buses and cars traveling to any of the area’s schools.

In addition to giving a four-and-a-half day weekend to the district, the snowstorm also provided a reprieve from the flu and norovirus that are currently spreading around the SouthCoast. The extended weekend from school gave students’ immune systems a chance to rest from being on the defense from the viruses passed along through coughing and sneezing onto the many shared surfaces in the buildings.

While safety due to the winter storm may have been the main reason behind the snow days, the district also provided a beneficial break in which to help stop the spread of the flu and norovirus.

By Jo Caynon

 

Healthy Tri-Town Coalition Discussed

While maintaining cost controls and balancing budgets for the financial health of the community is paramount to all Mattapoisett municipal managers, having healthy residents also ranks high.

During her budget presentation to the Mattapoisett Finance Committee on February 8, Library Director Susan Pizzolato spoke to that issue.

Pizzolato discussed her participation in the Healthy Tri-Town Coalition, a group directed by ORR Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos. The coalition unites educators, police, physicians, nurses, parents, and students to address, discuss, and provide positive support to those dealing with domestic abuse, drug use, LGBT issues, and mental health concerns.

Pizzolato said, “People trust our library staff.” She said the staff is sensitive to the needs of the community, and provides confidential guidance to visitors who need materials on such topics as LGBT, drugs, sexual assault, and other sensitive matters. She said she was very pleased to participate in the program and was impressed with the other members.

“It’s so critical today – we need all hands on deck,” said Town Administrator Michael Gagne.

Everyone in attendance lauded the services available at the library as Pizzolato provided statistics that showed 87% of residents hold active library cards, 79,000 library visits per year, 284 programs, as well as technology, reading and writing, and financial literacy tutoring.

Pizzolato said that the 3D printer acquired by the library has been a big hit with everyone in the community, but especially with school age children.

She also said that visitors could borrow Wi-Fi hot spots from the library during extended stays in town.

The library budget Pizzolato presented for FY18 stands at $457,983 versus FY17 $435,232.

Gagne called Pizzolato “a real twenty-first century librarian” who runs a 21st century library.

Also meeting with the Finance Committee was Water & Sewer Superintendent

Henri Renauld, whose message was very clear – additional staffing is necessary.

Renauld explained that both water and sewer personnel are deployed interchangeably to maintain plants and pumps, but with new wells and state requirements for staffing, a full-time position was necessary.

“We have to staff everyday,” Renauld told the committee members. He said that the water and sewer staff rotate weekends in order to maintain 24-7 coverage.

But committee Chairman Pat Donoghue questioned the logic and cost.

“We were told that with the new meter system we were going to save money,” Donoghue said. “Shouldn’t there be less pressure on staffing? Why isn’t there a reduction in personnel?”

Chuck McCullough, who assists the Water & Sewer Department in financial planning and long-range goals, responded, “With the old system, we drove around twice a year … it was very labor intensive. With the new system, we read meters every four to six weeks. We are able to identify domestic leaks.”

He said that by quickly identifying leaks, the town is able to conserve water and save customers money.

Donoghue said, “So you’re saying it’s better customer service versus cost savings.”

McCullough concurred.

Renauld said that presently he has 5.5 staff members in the field, one full-time clerk, and two part-time operational staff members, McCullough and former superintendent Nick Nicholson. The department’s FY18 budget reflects rounding out staffing to a total of six.

Regarding the water department, he said that 22 million gallons of drinking water are processed servicing three towns with a new well coming on-line that will provide 400,000 gallons per day for Mattapoisett alone in emergency situations.

In other areas of his budget, Renauld pointed to cost savings in communication and gasoline consumption.

But regarding the prolonged drought, Renauld reminded the committee it affects sewer costs. Mattapoisett’s flow ownership increased as a direct result of the drought resulting in $50,000 in additional sewer treatment expenses.

The estimated FY18 sewer department budget is $724,709, over FY17 at $674,775.

The water department budget also reflects decreases in gasoline, electrical, and professional consulting services, bringing the FY18 estimated total to $1,361,869 versus FY17 $1,340,621.

However, towards the end of his presentation, Renauld warned of upcoming expenses. He said that sewer treatment plant upgrades in Fairhaven will cost Mattapoisett $939,000. He plans on petitioning voters at Town Meeting to cover that cost with a 20-year bond.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Finance Committee is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell

 

Joseph P. McCarthy

Joseph P. McCarthy, 97, of Annapolis, MD, formerly of Rochester, MA died Feb. 17, 2017 in Annapolis, MD. He was the husband of the late Marie R. (Florentine) McCarthy and the son of the late James W. and Catherine (Bagley) McCarthy.

He was born in New York, New York and lived in Rochester for many years before moving to Annapolis.

Mr. McCarthy worked as a Draftsman for Sperry Rand Company in Syosset, NY for 30 years before retiring.

He enjoyed his family, traveling and being the Shine Coordinator at the Rochester Senior Center. He was an avid reader and history buff.

He was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Rochester, and St. John Neumann Catholic Church in East Freetown.

Survivors include his daughter, Maureen Eschbacher of Annapolis, MD; his son, Joseph G. McCarthy of Medford, NY; a sister, Theresa Sclafani of CT; 3 grandchildren, Tiffany Burch, Linda McCarthy and Joseph McCarthy; 3 great granddaughters, Kaylynne McCarthy, Brynn Burch and Brielle Burch. He was the brother of the late Marie Braun.

His Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 25, 2017 in St. Rose of Lima Church, 282 Vaughan Hill Rd., Rochester. Burial will follow in Rochester Center Cemetery, Rochester.

Arrangements are by the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham. For directions and online guestbook, visit: www.ccgfuneralhome.com.

Mary G. (Murphy) Whalen

Mary G. (Murphy) Whalen, 96, of Rochester, formerly of New Bedford passed away Saturday February 18, 2017 after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late John W. Whalen.

Born in New Bedford, the daughter of the late Edward D. and Margaret G. (Gibbons) Murphy, she lived in New Bedford for nine decades before moving to her daughter’s home in Rochester in 2010.

She was a lifelong parishioner of St. Lawrence Church, where she was a member of the Guard of Honor Society.

Mrs. Whalen was a pioneer in the Special Education Department of the New Bedford Public Schools, having primarily taught at Keith Junior High School.

She was a member of the Catholic Woman’s Club. She was a graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy in Fall River and the College of New Rochelle.

She is survived by three children, John W. Whalen, Jr. and his wife Constance of Fairhaven, Mark E. Whalen and his wife Cherilyn of Dartmouth, and Ann M. Desrosiers and her husband Paul of Rochester; six grandchildren, Erin C. Whalen, Jessica E. Buonopane, Brian S. Whalen, Luke M. Whalen, Amy E. Carlson, and Megan K. Desrosiers; and eight great-grandchildren.

Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 AM at St. Lawrence Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday morning from 9-10:30 AM at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Lawrence Parish Food Pantry, 110 Summer St., New Bedford. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

SLT Bids Farewell to Executive Director

It is with a mix of gratitude and sadness that the Board of Directors announce Robin Shield’s departure as Executive Director of the Sippican Lands Trust (SLT). Since 2013, Robin has played a critical role in helping the organization become more positively recognized throughout Marion and beyond as not only a land acquisition nonprofit, but one with a true commitment to the recreational and health benefits of the entire community by making its lands open and accessible to the public.

The Board wants to thank Robin for her years of dedicated service, which resulted in many significant accomplishments. Robin has been instrumental in expanding our emphasis on public access of our properties by broadening the SLT’s exposure through regional outreach efforts and signage at our various properties, developing a “Junior Board” program that encourages children to be good land stewards, expanding our membership, and overseeing several land acquisitions, most notably the Osprey Marsh property on Point Road.

“The Board thanks Robin for the dedication, passion and enthusiasm she has given the Sippican Lands Trust over the past four years. She will be greatly missed by those who worked with her. We wish her the best of luck and future success in her career and we are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of the Sippican Lands Trust,” says Board President Kate Ross.

The Sippican Lands Trust, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 for the acquisition, management and protection of natural areas in Marion. The Trust is a membership organization of approximately 900 members and currently protects 1,400 acres of beautiful open space. The Lands Trust sponsors events, educational workshops and lectures, and makes its properties available for natural history programming of area schools and other interested organizations. Working with the Town of Marion, local businesses, environmental agencies and with other Lands Trusts, the Sippican Lands Trust believes that New England’s rich natural resources can be preserved most effectively through collaborative citizen participation.

Town Hall Building Committee

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of the Town Hall Building Committee. I applaud the work these professionals – an architect, an engineer, and a businessman – have done for the town over the past few years. After attending all their presentations, I realize that they have carefully reviewed all the options available to us, including the pricing of a new building. They have talked with all the employees in the Town Hall and determined how much space each one needs, as well as calculating the building requirements to meet state codes. The committee certainly has done its due diligence for us. They have presented those plans and suddenly they are asked to start another process, spending thousands more dollars to investigate another building. When they presented in the past, there was a clear directive from the community to work with the current Town Hall.

The Building Committee has given us several options working with the current building. We have spent over $350,000 on architect fees and every year that we delay, building costs rise. In my mind, to send them back to the drawing board is an exercise in futility.

Some things are more important than a few extra dollars on our tax rate. The Town Hall and Library are iconic buildings and should continue to function for the same purposes for the next 100+ years. They are the cement for the village as are the General Store and the Post Office.

I spend a lot of time in the Town Hall. Although the windows are not in good shape – and we probably could have replaced them with the money already spent – the building is structurally sound. When I am in the cellar, I marvel at the solid foundation and the huge beams. It is a magnificent building, and it should be preserved. I cannot believe that a majority of citizens would vote to have that became another condominium.

We were presented with four options. I favor Option 3A, the Town Hall renovation without a large meeting room. The annual total tax impact on a $400,000 house is $146.99. The annual total tax impact for a new building is $165.69.

Most of us live in Marion because we love the town. I am not opposed to change but the village – comprised of the Town Hall, Library, Sippican School, Masonic Building, General Store, Post Office, Churches, Historic Society, and shops – is what makes Marion so charming. Let’s preserve the character of the town that brought so many of you here and has always been home to the rest of us.

Betsy Dunn, Marion

 

The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Rochester Country Fair Dinner Dance

The Rochester Country Fair will be celebrating this year’s Dinner Dance with a “Tribute to the American Farmer” theme on Saturday, March 18 at the Redmen Hall located at 758 Main Street in Wareham.

Guests are encouraged, but not required, to dress in their best farmer jeans and shirt and show their American Farmer pride. We are excited to celebrate this theme for the Fair since Rochester has such an extensive farming history that makes our town unique.

The Dinner Dance Fundraiser will kick off the night with a stuffed chicken breast dinner prepared by Matt’s Blackboard, which will be served at 7:00 pm. Music by “The Relics” will begin at 8:00 pm.

Tickets to attend are $20 each, while supplies last, and unlike prior years, all tickets must be purchased in advance at The Hair & Body Solution, located in Rochester’s Plumb Corner Mall, or at The Ponderosa located on Rt. 105 Acushnet / Rochester Line. You may also reach any of the Fair Committee Members.

Donations of raffle items are needed and will help support the Rochester Country Fair. We would especially love to have some home grown/made items from some of our local farmers.

Visit our website www.rochesterma.com for additional event information or support.

All Around Accomplishments for ORR Sports

Here’s an update on the Old Rochester Regional sports for this week:

            Boys’ Basketball: Due to the inclement weather, the boys’ basketball team was only able to partake in one game this week. The Bulldogs played Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech last Tuesday and managed an 80-71 point lead. Senior captain Russell Noonan led the team with a career high 39 points and eight assists. Jason Gamache followed with 15 points and seven assists. The duo worked together to stop the Bears. Bennett Fox followed adding 12 points and six assists. The strong defense and aggressive offensive ultimately set ORR apart and helped them to dominate. The Bulldogs are now tied for first in the SCC with Bourne. Their record is 12-4/11-3 SCC.

            Girls’ Basketball: The Lady Bulldogs also started their week off with a 56-43 point win over the GNB Voc-Tech Bears. The second-year senior captain, Sophia Church, led ORR with 15 points. Not far behind was co-captain, Olivia Labbe, with 12 points. Also adding to the score were Maddie Demanche with eight, Emma Collings with six, and Mary Butler with five. During their rescheduled matchup versus Wareham, the Lady Bulldogs triumphed 44-30. The game started off slow, but Collings soon took control and finished with 16 points. Church was not far behind with 10 points. At the end of the week, ORR remains in a three-way tie in the SCC with Apponequet and GNB Voc-Tech. Their record is now 14-4/12-3 SCC.

            Boys’ Hockey: The ORR/Fairhaven Ice Hockey dominated Dighton-Rehoboth with a 5-2 win. The game starts off with defenseman Landon Goguen scoring. Little did he know, he had just recorded the 100th point of his high school hockey career. It is a great accomplishment that few players achieve. The game continued with Noah Strawn hitting in two goals before the end of the first period. In the second, Goguen got another to advance the score to 4-1. Strawn finished the game with one more goal in the third. The Bulldogs continued their winning streak in their second matchup of the week against GNB Voc-Tech with a 10-1 victory. The game started out fast with one goal apiece from Ryan Labonte and Ryan Raphael. Soon the score advanced to 8-1 with the help of additional goals from Labonte and Raphael, along with Strawn, Goguen, and Sam Henrie. The Bulldogs are now 16-1.

            Boys’ and Girls’ Track: This past Saturday, both the Old Rochester Regional boys’ and girls’ track teams competed in the Indoor Track Championship against Apponequet, Bourne, Case, Dighton-Rehoboth, Fairhaven, Seekonk, Wareham, and Greater New Bedford RVTHS. The girls’ team dominated their competitors with 109 points to take the lead in their sixth straight SEC Championship. They were distantly followed by Dighton-Rehoboth, who achieved 58 points. There were first place wins by Madeline Scheub in the 600 (1:51.27), Madison Martin in the 1-mile (5:52.76), Avery Nugent in the 2-mile (12:43.54), and Brooke Santos in the 55 hurdles (9.09). The Lady Bulldogs’ 4×400 relay team also took first place (4:35.82) in the event. Danny Renwick won the 55 hurdles (7.96) and the high jump (6-foot-6). The boys’ track team placed second overall.

By Alexandra Hulsebosch

 

Neighbors Concerned Over Land Trust Plans

During the February 13 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission, the Mattapoisett Land Trust and Buzzards Bay Coalition sought permission for two projects that would open the way for public access on two parcels.

Representing the MLT was President Mike Huguenin accompanied by MLT member Paul Osenkowski. Representing the Buzzards Bay Coalition was Matt Spinner, land steward director.

The two applications before the commissioners were for requests for a Determination of Applicability. Such applications are generally viewed only in the context of the Wetlands Protection Act by the commission. That point became a rub as the evening wore on.

Up first was an RDA for 0 Acushnet Road submitted by the MLT. In this request, the group sought permission to clear trees, overgrown vegetation and to install a trail to the Mattapoisett River near Tinkham Chapel. They also sought to place a memorial bench at the site in memory of Lorraine Walsh whose daughter Crystal Walsh had approached the MLT regarding the idea.

Huguenin described the planned clearing as removing dead or dangerous trees within the jurisdictional riverbank area for a small trail to the water’s edge, modest clearing of invasive plants, and the bench. Chairman Bob Rogers then explained the commission’s problem with the plan.

Rogers said, “In the flood zone, we can’t do anything but protect all the vegetation.” He said that due to DEP regulations governing river areas, an RDA was insufficient, that the MLT would have to submit a Notice of Intent that carried a higher degree of governmental oversight – namely, the Department of Environmental Protection. Rogers said that in fairness to everyone else living along the riverbank, the NOI was necessary.

“Because of the riverfront, we can’t condition this with an RDA,” Rogers said. “This may not be allowed by the DEP.”

Rogers’ comments were responded to by Osenkowski who said, “It’s time that a board that represents Mattapoisett tells what’s good for Mattapoisett, not Beacon Hill!” He pleaded that the application would be an improvement benefiting the community with greater access to the resource area. Rogers said, “But we can’t touch a tree within 100 feet of the river front.”

There ensued nearly an hour of discussion that included public input as Rogers and Huguenin attempted to find a middle ground.

Diane Zartman, 116 Acushnet Road, said that if the area was opened up for public use, it might encourage more vandalism, more inappropriate trash dumping than abutters presently experience. She expressed doubts regarding the wisdom of making the area welcoming without increased policing.

A middle ground was ultimately found. Rogers and the other commissioners accepted that the MLT had a right to create a trail that meandered through the woods, but that they would also have to file a NOI for tree removal and installation of the memorial bench.

A similar application from the Buzzards Bay Coalition was met with greater abutter resistance.

The location along Long Plain Road leading to the MLT’s Woodcock Preserve was another spot the Walsh family hoped to place a memorial bench for their mother. Again, the wisdom of allowing greater public access to a resource area was questioned.

Spinner described the creation of a small, four-car parking area off Long Plain Road with a trail that would connect to a vernal pool in the MLT preserve. He said that the BBC would install bog boards along the new trail.

But Kimberly Pires, whose property abuts the proposed project, was quite concerned saying, “That’s going to be a major problem.” She said that presently passersby feed her horses, causing the animals to become sick. She said that signage had not stopped the problem, and that if a parking lot was created next to her pasturelands, she expected even more problems for her animals.

“For me and my horses, this is a nightmare,” she said.

Rogers was sympathetic saying, “A positive project shouldn’t cause a negative impact for you,” but that those types of inconveniences were not within the scope of the Wetlands Protection Act. Pires questioned the point in attending the meeting if her concerns were not going to be taken into consideration. Rogers countered that she had a right to appeal their decision.

Another abutter, Amy Rose-Baptista, also spoke against the plan. She said, “We live in a rural area … I want it to stay pristine.” But Huguenin said that the MLT and BBC were lawfully obligated to provide public access.

Mike Costa, 18 Long Plain Road, worried about an increase in all-terrain vehicle use. He said that ATVs were a constant problem for residents in the area and that trails and parking would increase the nuisance. Osenkowski said that the MLT had problems with ATV use in other locations and that they tried to build in obstructions along the trails to discourage the drivers.

In the end, the RDA received a Negative 3 determination.

Also coming before the board representing several clients was Rick Charon of Charon Associates. Charon received Negative 3 determinations on RDA applications for 16 Shore Drive owned by Patricia Tortorella for a second floor addition; 13 Cove Street owned by Judith Lamson for a sewer related utility shaft; 14 Cove Street owned by Marc Brockman for a sewer related utility shaft and related sewer piping; and 11 Briar Road owned by Richard Priester for two new decks. All projects were within flood zones.

Donna McCaffery, 16 Cove Street, NOI application for the construction of a single family home on a barrier beach also represented by Charon was continued until February 27.

The final hearing of the evening was represented by Jon Connell of Field Engineering for Julie Cabucio, 3 Oyster Lane. The project is the construction of a garage within a flood zone. The NOI was conditioned to include reference to FEMA Bulletin 5 to ensure compliance to all federal regulations.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 27 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell