Big Agenda, Easy Filings

            While it is true that wetland related rules and regulations are often complicated for residents, a packed conservation commission agenda doesn’t always mean complicated cases. That was the case when the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission met on August 12.

            The one filing that brought in a crowd that evening – a crowd that sat cheek to jowl in the Town Hall conference room – was a Notice of Intent submitted by the Angelica Point Improvement Association (APIA) and represented by Bob Field of Field Engineering.

            Field explained that a previously issued Order of Conditions pertaining to maintenance activities on Cove Street had expired. The association now sought permission to grade the unpaved roadway on an as-needed basis into perpetuity.

            All of that moved along quickly with no surprises. However, the hearing wasn’t without some complexity when abutter Bob Warren of the Point Connett Association said that the APIA did not own the entire roadway, but instead had a legal easement. He said he wasn’t against the repairs to Cove Street but simply wanted notification prior to the commencement of any work. He also asked about the appropriateness of a road grader currently parked on Cove Street.

            There was some discussion as to whether or not the commission had any authority to have the grader moved, given it posed no threat to the wetlands surrounding the barrier beach and that it was parked with permission on private property. When the discussion drew to a close, the commissioners were in agreement that the road grader was not a matter for them to take up.

            The association’s Notice of Intent filing was conditioned with the inclusion of notification to the Point Connett Association prior to commencing any work.

            A Notice of Intent filing by Arnold Cestari, trustee, 56 North Street Realty Trust, was filed in an effort to receive approval to convert three eutrophic pools into pools fed with flowing water from a perennial stream running through the property. The pools had been manmade some decades ago but were now filling with plant life that choked out any other living organisms or wildlife. They were described as full of slime.

            Representing the applicant was Evan Watson of Prime Engineering. Watson explained that the project would include the installation of a 10-inch pipe from the stream to the pool, allowing the naturally flowing stream to refresh the pools.

            Commission Chairman Mike King asked if other solutions had been considered such as aeration equipment. Watson said that aeration had been considered but that it required maintenance and had to be removed during the winter months. He said such a solution was less practical.

            While the issue of flooding on adjacent properties was discussed when questioned by Vera Gibbons, whose family owns adjacent property, the commission was united in agreement that the project would not create more water or more problems for neighboring lots.

            The project was approved with conditions.

            In other business, an After-The-Fact Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Tim Holt, 8 Howard Beach, for the replacement of a shed received a Negative 3 determination (no Notice of Intent required).

            Also receiving a Negative 3 determination was a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) filed by Michael Amaral, 3 Howard Beach, to pave an existing driveway, and an RDA filed by Karen Keenan, 63 Mattapoisett Neck Road, to remove a tennis court and replant the area with grasses and wildflowers.

            A Notice of Intent filed by Michelle Lacasse, 27 Fieldstone Drive, for tree clearing, stump removal, cutting of brush overgrowth, and additional driveway paving was approved with conditions.

            William Clark, 3 Oyster Lane, filed a Notice of Intent for the rebuilding of an existing deck and expansion of a deck. This project was also approved with conditions.

            A Request for an Amended Order of Conditions filed by Edwin Fernandes for a new residential structure was reviewed. Fernandes was represented by Jon Connell of SITEC, Inc. who explained that the new owners wanted to add a basement walk-out feature versus a crawl space and that the square-footage of the home would be slightly less than originally designed. The amended Order of Conditions was granted.

            Mike Huguenin of the Mattapoisett Land Trust met informally with the commission to review the MLT’s forestry plans on several properties. The selective cutting program will allow for sunlight to reach the forest floor, promoting growth of other plants and trees and improved food sources for birds, he explained.

            Earlier in the evening, Town Administrator Michael Gagne and Highway Surveyor Barry Denham met with the commission at the request of the chairman to discuss various municipal improvement projects that may require Conservation Commission oversight and permitting. A list of ongoing road grading projects was submitted by Denham. Gagne said, moving forward, town departments would submit filings as needed and that the grading list would be updated in compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act.            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for August 26 at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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