Raised Deck in Wetlands Gets Informal Nod

It isn’t as though the deck would be plopped directly onto the ground just 31 feet from the wetlands, which is why the Marion Conservation Commission on January 24 gave a tentative and unofficial OK for a proposed raised deck during an informal discussion with engineer David Davignon.

Davignon is representing Jean and Steve McCarthy for the rebuilding of a raised single-family home at 43 Dexter Road that sits within a velocity zone and is space limited to fit in a deck.

The deck itself would be elevated 16 feet from the ground, along with the house, but the row of five columns beneath the raised deck would be within a 30-foot ‘No Touch’ zone.

The deck is designed to be 12 feet wide in the back of the house, just large enough for a table and chairs.

Davignon said he refrained from applying for a Notice of Intent and submitting full plans before holding an informal discussion on the likelihood of the commission accepting the proposed deck.

Instead, Davignon introduced a preliminary house layout and footprint.

“The footprint is not a very big house,” said Davignon. “It’s not going to be a monster or anything for the neighborhood.”

The only way to have a deck, he said, would be to place it just within that 30-foot no-touch zone, otherwise a 6-foot by 8-foot deck would not allow for much use of the space.

Davignon promised there would be no shading impacts to the wetlands, since this was only the buffer zone, “But we didn’t want to proceed without getting your blessing.”

“For what it’s worth,” said Conservation Commission member Shaun Walsh, “I have no objection to what Mr. Davignon is describing here – again, understanding that once we get a formal filing and opening the public hearing, all bets are off so to speak…”

But, he continued, “It’s not like he’s building a house twenty feet from the wetlands line.… It’s an elevated house. It’s not a structure on the ground, so I’m okay with it.”

“I’m okay with it,” Chairman Cynthia Callow concurred, “but I’d like to see plans.”

Fair enough, replied Davignon, adding that he would be back within a month or so with a formal filing.

Also during the meeting, the commission approved the repair of a 30-foot riprap seawall at 98 Moorings Road.

Matthew Messina plans to repair the wall, fill in sinkholes in the lawn area adjacent to the top of the seawall, and repair a 2-foot by 30-foot strip of cement on top of the wall that is also adjacent to the lawn.

“I think what Dr. Messina is proposing is fine; it definitely needs repair,” said Callow, noting what she and fellow ConCom member Jeffrey Doubrava observed the prior Saturday during a site visit.

At first that night, Walsh said he was nervous about granting approval for some of the work without a detailed plan, notably the concrete repair to the top of the wall.

“…Because if you do not leave some voids in that area, during some storms you’re going to get a deflection of wave energy – without a plan showing exactly what he’s going to do and where, I’m a little concerned about approving something that just says repair of a seawall,” Walsh said.

It was explained that a concrete strip of the proposed size already exists at the site and would be kept the same in scope.

The project received a Negative Determination 2, which means that the proposed work is within an area subject to protection but material would not removed, and the area would not be filled, dredged, or altered.

In other matters, the commission granted a full Certificate of Compliance for Laurie and George Host, 456 Point Road, for landscaping with associated invasive species control, which included wetlands markers in the form of boulders – the preferred “Fred Flintstone” size boulders as opposed to the “Barbie dream house” size, as Callow put it.

The hearing for the Notice of Intent for Great Hill was continued again without further discussion until the next meeting at the request of the applicant’s engineer.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 14 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry


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