ConCom Approves Construction in Wetlands

            Not that anyone was complaining, but February 11 found the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission looking at an agenda populated by two pages of text that amounted to a meeting wrapped up in about 30 minutes.

            Steve Gioiosa of SITEC, representing Vermette Development, LLC with its Notice of Intent filing for property located off Mattapoisett Neck Road near the intersection of Harbor Road, presented the proposed construction of a single-family home. He detailed the massive wetlands abutting the location planned for the home and measures that would be taken to handle those jurisdictional areas in compliance with state regulations.

            Gioiosa said that two separate wetland areas totaling nearly 2,500 square feet would be disrupted by the construction, but that a one-to-one wetlands replication area would be part of the site plan.

            King said that, since the wetlands in questions were less than 5,000 square feet, it is not necessary for the applicant to undertake a stormwater study. Gioiosa said that two 10-inch drainage pipes would be installed to keep water on the applicant’s property and draining into the wetlands.

            Elizabeth Leidhold, conservation agent, asked about the installation of a box culvert versus the two outflow pipes to enable the movement within its habitat. Gioiosa explained that a structure of that sort would require more fill being brought to the site than currently planned. King said he didn’t believe a culvert was necessary, but left it up to the majority to determine if the culvert was needed. The commission agreed with King, and the commission deemed the two 10-inch pipes sufficient enough for turtle movement.

            King requested that a permanent fence be installed to give the homeowners a visual barrier between the edge of their groomed yard and the replicated wetlands area, noting that oftentimes homeowners encroached into protected spaces.

            The project was conditioned with necessary erosion control measures, fencing as requested, and a replication area with native plantings to replace the damaged wetlands.

            Also coming before the Conservation Commission was Meghan Davis of the engineering firm Tata and Howard, Inc., representing the Town of Mattapoisett with a Notice of Intent filing for utility upgrades needed by the Water District for a water treatment plant on property located off Tinkham Road.

            Davis said that Eversource’s electrical supply lines were overhead utilities, and that the poles supporting those lines did not meet current height regulations. Furthermore, she said that at times when weather caused damage to the power supply lines, repair crews were not swiftly dispatched to repair the crippled wires disabling the municipal service. 

            Located in the Mattapoisett River Valley Water District, the water treatment plant needs the electrical supply lines to be trenched underground, Davis explained, from a point midway down a gravel roadway off Hereford Road. She described the measures her firm will take to ensure wetlands would be protected from the construction project that includes tree clearing, groundwater dewatering where trenches are dug, and the installation of concrete encased ducts. Davis also said that measures would be taken to ensure the safety of endangered wildlife in the area.

            When Chairman Mike King asked about the timing of the project, Davis said the Town hoped for a summer start date.

            The project was continued until February 25 pending a response from the Natural Heritage & Engendered Species Program. The entire site is one that has been identified as wildlife habitat for the Eastern box turtle.

            A Certificate of Compliance was granted to Jermone Coogan, 16 Anawan Road, with work being certified by David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates.

            One request for a Certificate of Compliance and nine applications were continued to future meetings.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conversation Commission is scheduled for February 25 at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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