When the Moujabber family purchased the defunct Mattapoisett Chowder House on Route 6 at River Road, one of their first projects was to clean up the long neglected property.
But on July 25, the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission heard an abutting neighbor complain that the cleanup behind the restaurant also removed the screening they’ve enjoyed for years.
Fred Wyze and his family, 3 River Road, came out to explain to the Conservation Commission that brush and tree removal along a disputed boundary line has now removed what had been thick screening that shielded them from viewing the back of the restaurant.
“They clear-cut and now we are looking at the back of the restaurant and the parking lot,” Wyze said. He also concluded that trees on his property had been removed.
Conservation Commission Chairman Bob Rogers said that the responsibility of the commission was not to review private property rights, but to enforce wetlands regulations and that this board was probably not the right one to air tree removal grievances. The hearing with Moujabber was a Request for Determination of Applicability for an after-the-fact filing, as well as future landscaping, signage, parking lot repairs, and completion of invasive species cleanup.
The Wyzes pressed on saying that Moujabber had been told to stop cutting on three separate occasions by the building inspector but had continued the process.
Nabah Moujabber, represented on this night by his son Gary and his wife, purchased the closed restaurant several months ago and has been renovating and preparing to open his Lebanese Kitchen at this location after the New Bedford location suffered fire damage several years ago.
Mrs. Moujabber said, “We want to do everything right. We thought we had the correct paper,” referring to the cleanup effort. She told the commission that years of trash and overgrown brush were being removed.
Rogers explained that because the entire property was in jurisdictional areas, either coastal zone flooding or river valley, anything they did would require prior approval.
Mrs. Moujabber was clearly frustrated saying, “The cops came and they looked and wondered ‘What wrong they are doing?’”
Both Rogers and commissioner Mike King suggested that Moujabber ask for a continuation of the hearing, to return with property line delineation and a more fully fleshed out plan for the landscaping. The case was continued until August 8.
A continued RDA hearing for wetlands delineations requested by Dennis Arsenault for a site located in swampy woodlands at the end of Snow Fields Road was reopened.
Mark Manganello, LEC Environmental Consultants, told the commission that he and Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold had visited the site and were in agreement as to the location of bordering vegetated wetlands and intermittent streams.
Closely watching the proceedings were Peter and Pam Lafreniere, 12 Snow Fields Road, whose property abuts the Arsenault parcels. Lafreniere told the commission that water migrates from the wetlands on Arsenault’s property and drains onto his property.
The delineations were accepted with Rogers telling the Lafrenieres that any future construction on Arsenault’s property would require the filing of a Notice of Intent with notification to all abutters.
Blue Wave Capitol, LLC received confirmation that Environmental Consulting and Restoration was selected as on-site peer consultants for the duration of development of the Crystal Spring solar array project scheduled to begin in six to eight weeks.
Earlier in the evening, the commission met briefly with three candidates seeking to fill two vacant seats on the commission. Coming before them were Chapman Dickerson, lifelong Mattapoisett resident, member of the Agricultural Commission, and concerned citizen; Bernice Kaiser, recently retired businesswoman, former Middlesex Soil Conservation member, and newly transplanted resident; and three-time nominee for a position on the Conservation Commission, Diane Tsitos, who believes her negotiating skills and ability to distill and apply technical regulations will be beneficial as a commissioner.
The commissioners cast secret ballots to select their candidate and will forward the majority favorite’s name to the Board of Selectmen who will make the final decision.
By Marilou Newell