Addition Approved for Ailing Relative

A Mattapoisett family’s personal problems – trying to keep an ailing patriarch in his home as health issues require increased caregiving – was discussed during the March 26 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission.

Coming before the commissioners was David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. representing the family identified as 6R North Street Nominee Trust as they sought permission via a Request for Determination of Applicability to build an addition to an existing home within the 100-foot wetland boundary.

Davignon described the project as a 20-foot by 20-foot, 435 square-foot addition with a porch featuring handicap access and a first floor bathroom. He said that given the petite size of the addition, stormwater run-off from the roof would be minimal and would be directed into existing drainage streams nearby.

“We are not proposing any change in grade,” Davignon said, adding that a drainage swale would move water towards the intermittent stream that flows out under Water Street and into the harbor.

Vera Gibbons and her extended family, who own property along Captain’s Lane abutting the proposed project site, lamented that she and her children had only just received the notification of the plans and needed more time to assess any potential impact. She said they were concerned about the location of the addition and its close proximity to the drainage brook that she said is presently running high.

Davignon suggested that a drainage pipe servicing property along Captain’s Lane needed maintenance and that his clients had offered to do such work.

Gibbons asked whether or not the project needed a variance of the Board of Appeals. Davignon said yes.

Gibbons also said drainage issues plagued 12 Captain’s Lane, but both Davignon and Conservation Commission Chairman Mike King both pointed out that the proposed addition was at a down gradient from all the lots along Captain’s Lane. Thus, it would not negatively affect the Gibbon’s holdings.

“It’s impossible for water to flow uphill,” King said.

King said, “I’m sensitive to anyone with water problems,” but that the project as described seemed appropriate. “I suggest the neighbors all try to work together…. These are historic drainage features.”

Carol Holland, a niece of the family proposing the addition, rose to speak. She was emotional as she described the health issues facing the family and the need to have living space for the family member that would allow him to continue to live at home. “…If they can’t have this, they won’t be able to live there…. I hope [the decision] doesn’t make their lives any more difficult.”

The project received a Negative 3 determination (no Notice of Intent required), allowing it to advance to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also coming before the commissioners was John Shockro, 1 Harbor Road, with an RDA to extend an existing pervious driveway for a turn-around. He said it was difficult to back out onto Harbor Road and this would eliminate that problem. The project received a Negative 3 ruling.

Ross Kessler, 5 Locust Street, sought and received a Negative determination of applicability to construction a garage at the rear of his property and to pave a portion of an existing gravel driveway.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for April 9 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell


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