Marion Gains One More Osprey Pole

            Thanks to the Town of Marion’s generosity and the benevolence of the Conservation Commission, one less osprey family will be forced to live talon-to-beak and homeless on the streets of Marion. Personifying the plight of the osprey is perhaps a tad overly dramatic, but the raptors’ rebound from nearly threatened to now thriving is something the ConCom members appreciate.

            The commission on November 18 gave final approval for an osprey pole with perch for the northwest corner of the town-owned Boat Works Lane property.

            Conservation Commission member Jeff Doubrava put his name on the Request for Determination of Applicability application on behalf of the Town of Marion and recused himself from the decision-making process that started November 4 and concluded that night.

            Being a simple wooden platform held vertical by a wood pole, the project is pretty self-explanatory, said ConCom Chairman Shaun Walsh. The commission had already performed a site visit to survey the pole location off Briggs Cove ahead of the last meeting. Walsh said the pole would “increase habitat for the lovely osprey that we have in our area.

            “We are fortunate to have an abundance of osprey in our area,” said Walsh. “I don’t have any other questions.”

            The commission reflected on the headline from the November 4 meeting coverage in the prior edition of The Wanderer that likened Doubrava’s shift from ConCom member to applicant as a jump over the proverbial fence. The commission laughed at the vision of Doubrava as a literal “fence jumper” of sorts, with Walsh commenting that it would be “impressive for a man of his… (brief pause) … age.”

            “Will you be becoming a pole dancer as well as a fence jumper in this project?” asked ConCom member Cindy Callow.

            “I’m not going to touch that one,” said Walsh before shifting gears. “Thank you, Jeff. Great project.”

            In other business, the commission approved and issued an Order of Conditions for the Notice of Intent filed by Island Associates of Marion, Inc. Again, Doubrava recused himself from participation in the discussion as a member of the association and resident of the neighborhood.

            The approval will allow for storm drainage improvements inside an 18-foot by 30-foot area at Planting Island Road, and engineer David Davignon designed the project.

            Davignon presented an improved plan that underwent significant changes since the November 4 meeting, changes the commission agreed ultimately made for the best possible plan to address the ConCom’s prior concerns.

            Planting Island Cove is a productive shellfish habitat, and the commission had hoped Davignon could alter the trajectory of the planned spillway to discharge away from the salt marsh. Although that could not entirely be done due to the natural contours of the land and the proximity of abutting private property, Davignon could include a perforated recast concrete basin into the design.

            “My concerns, I think, have been allayed because you’ve instituted this … basin into the design, which is a new component,” said Walsh. “The first flush (of stormwater) ends up in that basin, and you’re not going to have an overland flow.” Furthermore, the spillway would be a more rectangular shape and farther from the salt marsh. “The farther away we can get it, the better,” said Walsh. “I’m good with this design. I don’t think that there’s a way that you can accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish … without a significant disturbance of that area and recontouring the natural grade out there.” He called this the “least impactful design.”

            The commission could envision a positive outcome for the flow of stormwater due to the recharge basin without any detriment to the salt marsh.

            As part of the Order of Conditions, the basin will have to be inspected annually for effectiveness.

            The commission also approved and issued an Order of Conditions for an NOI filed by Lance and Kathleen Scott for site redevelopment, eradicating phragmites and invasive vegetation, constructing a formal stone rip-rap slope, and beach nourishment on a lot across from 18 Wianno Road.

            After the public hearing first opened on September 23, it was apparent that the project was more complicated as it developed over the two months, resulting in multiple plan revisions before the plan the commission approved that night.

            A proposed fire pit had to be shifted out of the way of the natural vegetation line, and the commission preferred this plan’s more uniform beachgrass planting design.

            “It’s a tremendous improvement, I think,” said Davignon, and the commission agreed.

            Joseph and Caroline Sheehan, 17 Nokomis Road, withdrew their Request for Certificate of Compliance without prejudice after learning that the commission would have required the Sheehans to apply for an NOI for work done outside of the plan that was initially approved.

            The commission approved a Request for Extension Permit, 11 Hiller Street, giving the applicant more time to seek a Waterways Permit for proposed stone steps to the water.

            The commission issued a Certificate of Compliance to Louis Secatore (William and Jennifer Fulton), 5 Island Court, for a beach-nourishment project originally approved 23 years ago.

            At the applicant’s request, the commission continued the Kittansett Club’s public hearing for an NOI for the expansion of an overflow parking area in the southern part of the property at 11 Point Road until January 13.

            The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, December 9, at 7:00 pm.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry

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