Subdivision Proposed Near Great Cedar Swamp

On June 19, the members of the Mattapoisett Planning Board met with David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, representing Dennis Arsenault to discuss plans for a two-lot subdivision adjacent to Great Cedar Swamp at the end of Snowfield Road.

As Davignon explained the conceptual design, he was clearly aware of the many environmental issues the project must explore and appease before building would be allowed.

Davignon said a gravel roadway would be carved out of the woodlands traversing intermittent streams and swamp areas. This roadway would penetrate approximately 1,000 feet into Arsenault’s property at the end of Snowfield Road. There, deep into the wooded landscape, is an uplands area sufficient to create two buildable lots, a total of 10.3 acres he demonstrated.

“This project will require extensive permitting,” Davignon confirmed. He said that some years ago the soils of the uplands in question were tested and found to be “good” for two septic systems. He also explained that due to costs, the plans are for two private fresh water wells. Also planned for economy’s sake are overhead utilities. However, Davignon said everything was very preliminary.

“We’ll be seeking a waiver for stormwater management, sidewalks, and length of road,” Davignon told the board.

Board member Karen Field wondered about gravel runoff and dust causing an impact on the wetlands of the massive swamp system.

Abutter Peter Laferniere, whose property is located at the dead end where the roadway will be extended, said, “The Great Cedar Swamp has an extreme amount of water…. There are years it never dries.” Laferniere said that if a roadway is cut through the swamp to reach the island of uplands, “…it’s not going to drain naturally any longer.” He worried that his property would suffer from water runoff.

Chairman Tom Tucker said, “I have a lot of questions, but let’s wait till we hear back from the other boards.” And by that, Tucker meant nearly every board in town.

Davignon said he had reached out to the Highway Department, Water and Sewer Department, and Police and Fire Departments. He also said there would be hearings and/or meetings with the Conservation Commission, Board of Health, and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Tucker asked Davignon return to the board with responses from other departments for the next meeting.

Also coming before the Planning Board was Michael Sudofsky, owner of The Ropewalk and the Stowaway located at 30 and 35 County Road. Sudofsky was seeking to have his request for a Form A Not Required accepted. The application proposes to re-define lot lines due to possible errors made by previous owners. He explained that currently a lot line dissects one of the shops in the retail spaces located in The Ropewalk.

Sudofsky said the insurance providers for the two business entities were “not pleased” with the position of the lines as they currently are recorded. But board member Janice Robbins questioned the new lot plans.

“I would be more comfortable with a variance,” Robbins said, versus an acceptance of the reconfiguration by the Planning Board. “This is a pretty major overlap of lot lines,” she said. She also said that, while the board could accept lot line changes, they could not create setbacks that were “worse” than those grandfathered.

Tucker told Sudofsky that the board was not required to do anything with his application and suggested he pursue matters through the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for July 10 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room, a day out of sequence due to the 4th of July holiday.

Mattapoisett Planning Board

By Marilou Newell


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