The developers of a proposed CVS for Route 6 began its Marion Conservation Commission chapter in what is looking like a seemingly slow saga ahead for the project; Team CVS received its first ConCom continuation on October 22 for its initial Request for Determination of Applicability to confirm the boundaries of the wetlands.
ConCom Chairman Norman Hills, who is also a member of the Marion Planning Board, adhered stringently to the agenda for LEC Environmental Consultants on behalf of Robert Kroff, allowing them only the allotted appointment time of ten-minutes to give a description of the current conditions of the property on the corner of Wareham Road and Front Street – and not a minute more.
Engineer Marc Manganello said he would have preferred to address the RDA simply to confirm the wetlands line before getting into details of the future project, but Hills was sticking with the sequence of the items listed on the agenda. The CVS site was listed twice on the agenda, first for discussion of the RDA, followed by the RDA hearing.
“You got ten minutes,” said Hills, who has already attended two pre-submission conferences with the CVS developers with the Planning Board.
Manganello pointed out the green wetlands line on the site map, referenced three separate areas that have been flagged – one of which was already confirmed by the commission in the past – and then passed the floor to fellow engineer Josh Swerling.
“I’m sure no one has heard of [this project] before,” joked Swerling before addressing the velocity zone marked on the map. Swerling said the building has been intentionally kept out of the zone, and turned to the flood zone area that wound up being the commission’s top reason that evening for continuing the hearing.
Storm water, catch basins, and underground retention systems – Swerling described some plans for the development of the site.
“Time’s up,” said Hills, adding that the commission prefers to move along “instead of depleting discussions.” They moved on to the RDA.
Manganello returned to the podium, reminding the commission that no official project is associated with the RDA filing and that he was only seeking accuracy of the wetlands demarcation and a positive determination for the application. It did not take long before the wetlands lines blurred into the line of project plan details.
Commission member Cynthia Trinidad brought up the drive-thru location of the proposed site, asking if it would be situated within the velocity zone. Swerling replied that, yes, the area just before the drive-thru would be.
ConCom member Lawrence Dorman commented on the amount of impervious surface the project would generate, acknowledging that the matter was beyond the commission’s purview that evening.
Swerling described the underground retention system among other things designed to mitigate storm water flow.
Dorman expressed concern over the relocation of the Hadley House into the 100-foot wetlands buffer zone, prompting Hills to ask why the building could not be relocated closer to the street, away from the wetlands.
“Yeah,” said Swerling. “We can look at that … I’m sure there’s some opportunity there.”
Continuing outside the wetlands lines, Dorman asked how large the proposed 13,000 square-foot store is relative to other CVS stores.
“[It is in] the smaller range of what they typically construct for new stores,” said Swerling.
The conversation returned to the RDA when Hills asked why the AE flood zone line on the map appeared “weird and snaky” and unlike the line shown on a different map. Hills then stated his major concern was that an engineer did not stamp the plans presented. Swerling feared he did not have one, until Manganello produced a few copies and handed them to Hills. Scrutinizing them, Hills commented that the previous plan reflected slightly different flood plain lines.
Swerling said the Massachusetts and Marion online GIS system was not available before, and later the engineers referred to the GIS for its accuracy.
Hills later pointed out that because the site is subject to coastal storm flowage, the developer would need to file a Notice of Intent with the commission, which Swerling confirmed is the developer’s intent.
“I’m not sure at this point in time that we can verify it (the wetlands line),” stated Hills.
You will also need to open up an escrow account, Hills said to Swerling, so an engineer hired by the Town – at the applicant’s expense – could review the wetlands lines as proposed.
“If the two engineers come up with the same lines, then that’s fine,” said Hills, who then identified his new major concern as the accuracy of the flood plain lines on the map.
Team CVS agreed to the escrow account for the engineering consultants, but Hills could not give them a ballpark figure as requested.
“We can’t get an engineer overnight,” Hills told them. He said the commission needs three proposals from three engineers, and that might take some time. He needs to look into the matter, Hills said, so the commission can act consistently with past projects. Hills later commented after the hearing that the last time he could remember a similar scenario was with the 40B housing project.
Some details could change before any future NOI filing, commented Dorman, so it is best they proceed with pinning down the lines before moving forward.
“Oh, I’m sure we’ll end up with an NOI,” stated Manganello.
Hills reiterated that the commission needs some time to obtain expert advisement “just to give us ‘the warm and fuzzy’ that what’s here is correct,” and then stated that there would not be another ConCom meeting until November 12, urging Team CVS to wait until the following meeting on December 12. The team chose the November meeting anyway.
Getting an engineer might take longer, stated Hills. “And we’ve been pretty slammed lately (with applications).”
The hearing was continued until November 12.
In other matters, the commission approved three Notices of Intent: Pamela Oliveira of 85 Dexter Road to elevate an existing house within the flood zone to a raised new flood zone foundation, plus the addition of a second floor and two decks with stair access; Thomas Stemberg of 114 Point Road to construct a single-family home, pool, pool house, tennis court, driveway, and walkways with some work inside the 100-foot buffer zone; Dennis and Karen Cleminshaw off Perry’s Lane to construct a single-family home within the buffer zone of a cranberry bog.
The commission granted negative determinations for four RDAs: John and Carole Whittemore of 51 East Avenue to excavate a dry well; Lars Olsen of 73 Cove Road to raze an existing structure and construct a new single-family home; Marvin and Carol Bannon of 22 Wilson Road to raze a house to build a new FEMA-compliant single-family house; Christopher Shachov and Meredith Clark Shachov of 16 South Street to install a gunite swimming pool, multiple patios, and walkways.
The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is November 12 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
By Jean Perry