Good Neighbor Gets His Boat-Storage Building Permit

            Dan Crete told an abutter to his recently purchased property at 288 Wareham Street that he filled a dumpster with discarded air-conditioners and television sets that had populated land where he wants to build two, temporary boat-storage shelters as soon as possible.

            The willingness to spend a substantial amount of money and time to remove such debris and prior good-citizen efforts has earned the trust of those abutters, and the Marion Planning Board saw fit on Monday night to award Crete the Special Permit he needs to erect his temporary boat shelters and maintain a clientele that was in jeopardy after the town sold the Atlantis Avenue property where he used to rent.

            A 7:05 pm public hearing for site plan review of the land purchased by his company, Saltworks Marine LLC, yielded lengthy discussion and a decision. The case had appeared before the Conservation Commission the week prior with no immediate concerns but was continued per town policy for remote-access meetings. Abutters responded in Monday’s Planning Board meeting, and Crete was forthcoming in his effort to save his boat-storage business.

            Represented by Dave Davignon of engineering firm Schneider, Davignon, and Leone LLC, Crete had introduced his case two weeks ago and, at the time, appealed for a streamlined timeline necessary with boats coming out of the water and going into storage in the coming weeks.

            Abutters John and Paige Hiller of 282 Wareham Road and Sandy Hiller (294 and 282A Wareham Road) had questions about the clearing of trees and the resultant site lines from their properties.

            “People have been dumping stuff out there for a long, long time,” said Crete, explaining his intention is merely to cut out the “underbrush” so he “can clean out the land.” He told the Hillers he will eliminate only some scrub pine and a little bit of white pine but will not disturb any of the majestic white oak trees. “There are no plans to pull anything down behind where you guys are,” he said.

            Sandy Hiller said that, as things stand right now, she can see the existing garage (that would be behind where the two storage buildings are mapped). “If it fills out, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, can something be done there, can we plan some arborvitaes?” she asked.

            Planning Board member Chris Collings echoed her sentiment, but members Andrew Daniel and Norm Hills argued that in light of the temporary situation being established by Special Permit it would be better to let the land fill in naturally and reevaluate it when Crete returns to the Planning Board inside of two years with a permanent proposal per the agreement.

            “I hope you’ll be thoughtful about the type of (permanent) structure, I think you’ve done a great job with your structures across the street,” said Planning Board Chairperson Will Saltonstall of Crete’s boat-repair shop across Route 6 from the development site.

            It is stipulated in the Special Permit that the two boat-storage shelters measuring 35 by 80 feet, placed 10 feet apart, and founded upon concrete “Jersey” barriers only be used for storage and light maintenance and that any engine work, grinding of boat bottoms or scraping of paint be done at Crete’s shop across Route 6. They are to stand no more than two years, at which time they will have to be taken down or be amended to fit into a permanent plan that would need Planning Board approval. 

            The Special Permit is good for 180 days, and subsequent applications to extend it must be made. According to Saltonstall, Marion Building Commissioner Scott Shippey will grant extensions beyond 180 days up to whatever the Planning Board sets but not indefinitely – Crete is asking for a two-year window.

            “Before two years gets here, we’re going to be back before the board to say this is what we doing …,” stated Crete.

            The shelters will rest entirely within a flood zone at an elevation of at least 10 feet. Stormwater retention components added include trenches along the sides of the shelters topped with a gravel surface to absorb the runoff.

            Member Joe Rocha asked about the life expectancy of the shelters and if they are safe in a windstorm. Crete said the shelters are made by a company called Farmtek, carry a 15-year warranty and a wind-load and snow-load rated. “I had one for eight years, it’s in wonderful condition,” said Crete, noting that the doors and zippers take a beating but are annually replaced by a company in Rochester.

            Member Eileen Marum asked about traffic on Route 6; Crete said the Atlantic Drive location required the same pathway at a greater distance between the storage and workshop locations.

            Saltonstall confirmed that there will be no site lighting.

            Attorney Robert Perry appeared before the board on behalf of Denise Allard and John Botelho, respective owners of a lot of land covering the addresses 61 and 63 Oakdale Avenue, seeking approval to split their land into separate properties.

            The ANR filing (Approval under the subdivision control law is Not Required) was originally two parcels that were built in 1943, Perry’s research yielded.

            “The idea of splitting them at this point is, after five generations, Botelho (family) wishes to sell and the Allard family wishes to keep their property,” he explained.

            Hills asked if two non-conforming (in size) lots need a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Perry said that under Massachusetts General Law 84 they do not. “I’ve been practicing law for 45 years now, but I’ve probably done 10 of these,” Perry said.

            Town Planner Gil Hilario suggested, in light of Perry’s confidence in his legal interpretation, the Planning Board might consider running the matter by Marion’s town counsel, Jon Witten. Having worked with Witten, Perry was amenable.

            “I want to do it right and want to make sure there are no issues with the title on the property when we go to sell it,” he said.

            Hilario suggested the request might need a special permit from ZBA.

            The case was continued and will appear on the agenda for the Planning Board’s next meeting on November 2.

            Saltonstall reported to the Planning Board that Marion’s bylaw codification is making progress with assistance from the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD). The town is looking to establish a creative open-space bylaw that would facilitate growth including moderate-income housing with density-bonus incentives for developers.

            The Planning Board received an application for a house addition from Katrina Trull at 12 Emil’s Way but, lacking key information regarding square footage, the proposed structure’s location relative to the house or the lot, if it is tied into town sewer, parking, the application was considered incomplete. There was no site plan so there was no recommendation from the board.

            Collings discussed the new Wareham-Marion bridge work scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021 and to expect reduced traffic flow. Hilario expects a more pedestrian-friendly design. The bridge height is undecided.

            The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for November 2.

Marion Planning Board

By Mick Colageo

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