ConCom to Support MLT Land Purchase Article

            Mike Huguenin of the Mattapoisett Land Trust (MLT) on April 8 gave the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission an informal presentation on the 128-acre site the MLT is in the process of purchasing from members of the Hiller family.

            Known as the Pine Island Watershed Land Project, the property has three important aspects worthy of conservatorship, Huguenin said.

            First and foremost is the highly recognized wildlife habitat, which Huguenin described as part of a “key corridor” for all wildlife in the region. Second, he recognized the recreational opportunities that the now private thickly vegetated property could potentially offer. The third, Huguenin said, is the historical aspect of the land.

            According to Huguenin, the summer home of Oliver Wendell Holmes was located along part of the acreage in question.

            Huguenin said that the purchase price of $1.5 million could be part of a three-way partnership, and that a warrant article was being prepared to ask for voter support at the Annual Town Meeting. That partnership, he explained, would find the MLT raising $500,000 from private donations, another $500,000 from Mattapoisett’s Community Preservation Committee via a bond and levy program, and the Buzzards Bay Coalition would coordinate with the MLT with grant applications.

            Huguenin also said that he hoped the ConCom would be willing to hold the conservation restriction on the property in partnership with the BBC.

             “We absolutely support projects of this sort,” Conservation Commission Chairman Michael King stated. “We are happy to support you.”

The commission approved a motion to send a letter to the MLT formally giving the commission’s support.

            Also during the meeting, recent activities was discussed. Spring is in the air! Trees and flowers are budding, bird songs fill the air, and the rousing sound of a backhoe illegally removing soil from jurisdictional wetlands easily caught the attention of residents who promptly reported the activity to the Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold.

            “You know it’s spring,” Leidhold said after giving her report to the commission – a report filled with various unpermitted activities.

            The first complaint on the list involved Brandt Point Village. Leidhold said she found the mandated turtle fencing in severe decline, and layers of trash mixed with soils are carpeting areas of the beleaguered subdivision.

            Leidhold said that the Planning Board had been unable to get the developer, Marc Marcus of Omega Financial, to respond to the board’s numerous requests for answers, so Leidhold was unsure how successful she would be in contacting him regarding conservation issues.

            King instructed Leidhold to send Marcus a letter listing the problems and requesting a plan to remediate them.

            Next on the list were problems with the erosion controls along the Water & Sewer Department’s directional drilling project in the Point Connet and Pease’s Point beach communities being performed by drilling subcontractor John Cardillo. Erosion control was one of several conditions placed on the construction work by the Conservation Commission.

            King said the office would send a letter indicating the issue must be corrected and returned to compliance with the permit.

            In a matter reported as the digging out of a pond off North Street in the Captain Lane’s area, Leidhold said a son of the primary property owner in the area, Vera Gibbons, reported that a backhoe was being used to excavate material in a vernal pool and stream.

            Although Leidhold knew the name of the person doing the work, she stated, “I don’t want to say who it is.”

            King again believed the activity worthy of formal notification listing all jurisdictional areas being impacted, type of unpermitted activity, and a request for the parties involved to make an appearance and discuss the matter with the commissioners.

            In another matter where names were not spoken aloud, Leidhold said neighbors in the Shore Drive and Center Street beach community complained of trails being constructed in marshlands. King asked her to engage town counsel for what action the commission could take to stop and prevent further damage to the wetlands.

            (*The Wanderer was unable to reach Leidhold before press time to document the names she withheld of those responsible for the alleged violations. Those names will be published in the April 18 edition of The Wanderer, pending Leidhold’s cooperation.)

            In other business, a Request for Determination of Applicability submitted by Matthew Souza and Gregory Vergotz, 9 Avenue A, for minor exterior improvements to an existing residence received a Negative determination

            James Babbitt, 40 Marion Road, received a Negative determination for his RDA for the installation of a shed on a concrete pad.

            A Notice of Intent filing by Paula Coffey, 64 Shore Road, to demolish a structure and construct a new home was approved.

            A request for an extension to an existing order of conditions was granted to L.C. Grant, Marina Drive.

            Continued until April 22 was a Notice of Intent filing for a subdivision project known as Eldridge Estates of Prospect Road, by Scott Snow. The commission was satisfied with updates to the plan of record, including sewer and septic plans, but the applicant wished for the commission to make its decision after Snow’s next meeting with the Planning Board.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for April 22 at 6:30 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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