Definitions Confine Project’s Scope

            John and Cynthia Paliotta filed a Notice of Intent with the Marion Conservation Commission for a land management plan at 119 Converse Road.

            While the Paliottas propose eradication of invasive plants and restoration and enhancement of existing native plant communities, a welcome kind of project in almost any context, this case become complicated after the applicants filed their petition as an Ecological Restoration Project.

            The project also seeks to create a sustainable, long-term vista corridor to Sippican Harbor from the existing residence and to create a vertically diverse native woodland plant community.

            Conservation Commission Chair Shaun Walsh told the representatives that an ERP gets an order of conditions (general permit), but this NOI does not fall into that categorization.

            “In order to be a limited project, you have to be an ERP,” said Walsh, giving examples such as taking down a dam, daylighting a stream, reversing things that civilization has done that altered a previously natural landscape. “I don’t see that here. This is a site that absolutely has some non-native species than I think can and should be eradicated and managed…. Even though, in my opinion, this does not meet the criteria for an ERP limited project, it does not mean that some of this work may not be permittable.”

            Walsh said residents with phragmites are encouraged to file with the commission for an eradication program.

            Mark Manganello, assistant director of Ecological Services at LEC Environmental, told ConCom that the ERP criteria consists of a very long checklist, some of which he believes qualify as key items in the project. He also asserted that the area exceeds a threshold that requires the activity to be pursued as an ERP.

            Walsh suggests reducing the scope of the project and filing it as a regular project.

            “We see some benefits to this plan,” said Walsh, who was supported by multiple members of the commission who reviewed the case themselves before coming to the meeting.

            Noting that Marion stands along in the region as the only town lacking a conservation agent, Walsh said Chapter 4 Section 53G allows the Conservation Commission to hire an environmental consultant to assist in its review of complicated projects, the cost to be funded by the applicant.

            After substantial discussion pertaining to the applicants’ rights including coming back with a strengthened argument for the NOI as submitted, Walsh and the board discussed options. He said the NOI could be amended to a Form 3 NOI rather than refiled altogether and not necessarily lose a step. Nor does it need to be filed as multiple NOIs.

            In keeping with Marion’s rules on remote access public hearings, the case was continued to Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 pm.

            ConCom issued an Order of Conditions to applicants William and Elizabeth Weber for the float improvement plans at 21 East Avenue. The commission approved representative Dave Davignon’s May 5 revision and conditioned the project, including alteration of six piles under the ocean with the stipulation that the float legs be removed upon installation of the piles, along with the usage of non-petroleum-based oils.

            The commission also issued a negative determination of applicability to Kyle Prien for construction of his shed at 19 Giffords Corner Road.

            The Marion Department of Public Works filed a Request for Determination of Applicability for road improvements, including the full length of School Street and Parlowtown Road, portions of Water Street (Allen to South Street), Holmes Street (Pleasant to Water Street), and a small portion of pavement at 361 Front Street.

            In keeping with Marion’s rules on remote access public hearings, the case was continued to Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 pm and will be heard before the continuance of the more complicated Paliotta case.

            The Kittansett Club withdrew its Notice of Intent without prejudice rather than request further continuances to the case for expansion of its parking area. The case was continued from February 10.

            “We expect there will be a new Notice of Intent file at some point,” said Walsh, referencing communication with the engineer representing Kittansett indicating further consideration is being given to the golf club’s plan.

            Continued from April 28, Sippican Lands Trust requested a continuance of its RDA to Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 pm while working on a requested survey of the property line that could affect relocation of a portion of the Osprey Marsh boardwalk off Point Road.

            The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 pm.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Mick Colageo

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