“Groundwater is not stormwater.”

It was nearing closing time at the May 15 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission; that is to say, all public hearings had been heard and the commission was on to “walk-ins” when Charles Motta of 26 Holly Lane asked to speak.

Motta complained bitterly that a two-lot development being constructed by Greta Fox adjacent to his property was wreaking water havoc throughout the neighborhood. He said that he and several of his neighbors never had water issues on their parcels until construction began on the Fox property.

Motta said that wetlands on Fox’s property were draining into his cellar keeping his sump pump working.

Conservation Commission Chairman Mike King told Motta that when he walked the site with a state official from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, “…All the engineered structures had been installed and were operating as designed.” King suggested that stormwater was migrating to Motta’s location from Marion Road versus the Fox construction site.

Motta remained flummoxed and asked King what actions he might be able to take to get some help in this matter, saying he had spoken to the state and to the town administrator and the commission – what was left?

King said, “The buck for us left when the DEP issued a superseding Order of Conditions.” But Motta pleaded, “I don’t know where to go.”

King said he wished there was something he could do.

“Groundwater is vastly different from stormwater,” King said, “and the house was designed to meet the resource area. We have no control over the project; it is the DEP.”

Motta said he felt compelled to contact state representatives for assistance. King said, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

In other business, Blue Wave Solar represented by Richard Riccio of Field Engineering, sought a Request for Determination of Applicability for Phase II of a previously approved and permitted solar farm located on Tinkham Hill Road, abutting both North Street and Shady Oak Drive.

Riccio said the project had not changed in scope since it was first before the commission in 2013, at which time wetlands delineation had been accepted and a negative determination was rendered for Phase I.

Abutter Sylvia Ouimet of 196 North Street asked how far away from her rear property line the fencing would be. Riccio said 275 feet. She also inquired about screening and was told that plantings would be dense and fencing would be higher than Phase I.

Pat Alex, 2 Tinkham Hill Road, asked why screening had never been planted along the boundary line of property across the street from her residence. Riccio said that the project had not been completed, but that with the completion of Phase II, those plantings would be done.

Mike Flynn, 6 Shady Oak Drive, asked about the public notification he had received that indicated the Order of Conditions had expired. King responded that that was why the project was back before the commission to receive new orders.

There were several other questions about setbacks and whether or not the solar array would be visible from North Street. Riccio said the solar field would be situated some 300 feet away from North Street and that other issues would be addressed on May 17 when the applicant would have a public hearing for a Special Permit at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Blue Wave received a Negative Determination of Applicability (no Notice of Intent required) and must notify the conservation office when work begins.

Other matters included a RDA filing by Christopher Riley for the construction of a shed at 3 Goodspeed Island. The request was continued pending clarification of construction methods from the Building Department.

James Faughnan, 21 Fieldstone Drive, received a Negative Determination for a RDA to plant lawn and remove several trees in jurisdictional areas.

Stacie Hess, 1 Spruce Avenue, sought and received a Negative Determination for a RDA filing for the construction of a shed.

James Hurd, 19 Centre Drive, also received a Negative Determination for his RDA filing to extend an existing deck.

Mark Julien, 30 Ocean Drive, represented by David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. sought and received an Order of Conditions for a NOI filing to provide beach nourishment to a coastal beach some two acres in size. Davignon said his client intended to keep the permit actively open for three years to assess the effectiveness of the coastal restoration.

Bob Rego of River Hawk Environmental, LLC returned to the commission with updated plans for property located on Marion Road, owned by Rahim Aghai who plans to build a three-lot subdivision. During his first meeting with the commission, several issues were addressed and suggestions made prompting Rego to return with those changes.

The commission was satisfied with stormwater management systems that included rain gardens and sub-filtration for roof run-off. Both commission members Trevor Francis and King praised Rego for his work.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for June 11at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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