Resident Gets Guidance on Pier Pursuit

After his next-door neighbor decided to file for approval for a new pier, William Mansulla took a look at his old dilapidated ‘pier’ and thought, “Maybe I should see what I need to do in order to have a nice pier, too.”

On February 28, the Marion Conservation Commission gave Mansulla some guidance on the process of filing an application for a pier, which ultimately led Mansulla to one conclusion: “I think it’s gonna be a pretty costly project either way.”

Mansulla, who has owned 287 A Delano Road since 1965, said there was always an old pier-like structure on the water, but over time it crumbled and crumbled some more. Since Mansulla and his family had never been active water recreationalists, he never sought to have the pier repaired. Now, however, summer tenants have been enjoying the water and have been using whatever is left of the pier for water sports. Mansulla thought it would make the experience nicer for his tenants if he pursued a pier repair or reconstruction.

The problem, however, is that the solid fill-type dock that is there is no longer allowed and was never properly licensed. The commission agreed that Mansulla could probably work around the existing pier or pick a new spot for it, but he would have to go through the rigorous process with the help of a qualified engineer.

Conservation Commission member Shaun Walsh advised Mansulla that he would require a Chapter 91 license and other subsequent approvals along the way, making an engineer essential.

“I knew it was nothing simple,” said Mansulla.

Unsure of whether he would proceed or not, and whether he would even receive approval, Conservation Commission member Jeff Doubrava told him that during the years he has served on the commission, “I don’t think I’ve heard of a dock that was proposed that was not allowed eventually,” adding, however, that people have had “hoops to jump through to get it.”

Before Mansulla left, the commission reminded him that before he were to do any work, including any repairs to an existing seawall, he would have to appear before the commission.

In other matters, the commission anticipates a request to withdraw without prejudice the Notice of Intent for pipe repair and invasive removal/mitigation at Great Hill. The commission had given the applicant’s initial Request for Determination a positive determination, requiring the filing of a NOI because the proposed work would later affect the wetlands in some way. The representative for Cathy Stone, on behalf of Great Hill–Marion, LLC, said, because of the requirement to file a NOI, along with a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection expressing some concerns, the project has ballooned outside the scope originally intended.

Also during the meeting, the commission issued an Order of Conditions for the Notice of Intent to construct a timber pier with a gangway and float to provide deep water access at 282 Delano Road. The hearing for applicant Carolyn Martin was continued from February 14, and on February 28 the commission granted approval for the 175-foot long pier with a gangway at the end with a 10- by 20-foot float to be installed upon four pilings, one at each corner to allow for easier seasonal removal and replacement. The project had already received approval from the harbormaster, the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The MassDEP Waterways Program was waiting for an Order of Conditions and Planning Board approval before issuing its permit; the Planning Board agreed it would approve the application once the Conservation Commission issued the OOC.

The commission granted a Negative Determination (no Notice of Intent required) for an RDA filed by the Estate of Marie L. Ahearn for an upgrade to a Title 5 compliant 1,500-gallon septic tank and 1,000-gallon pump chamber and raised leaching area at 534A Point Road.

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

Marion Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry


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